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USDA Announces More Than $12.8 Million In Rural Economic Developmet Loans And Grants


Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Thomas C. Dorr today announced the award of 29 loans and grants totaling more than $12.8 million to assist rural communities and businesses in 12 states.

“These funds will help create jobs, finance the construction of community hospitals, and provide for essential services in rural areas,” said Dorr. “The projects funded today will help to create or save an estimated 2,450 jobs, underscoring the Bush Administration’s commitment to strengthening our nation’s economy.”

The funds are being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program. Under the program, Rural Development provides loans and grants to Rural Utilities Program borrowers, usually rural telephone or electrical cooperatives, which in turn provide loans to rural businesses and communities in their service areas. Rural Development will provide $9 million in loans and $3,863,000 in grants to the successful applicants.

Projects being funded include a $740,000 loan to help build a medical office building adjacent to Box Butte General Hospital in Alliance, Neb.; a $740,000 loan to the South Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation to enable Aspen Compressor to purchase manufacturing equipment and a 19,000 sq. ft. industrial building; and a $300,000 loan to the Santel Communications Cooperative to help finance the construction of a new high school in the Woonsocket School District in Woonsocket, S.D. A $300,000 grant to the Umatilla Electric Cooperative will enable the Good Shepherd Medical Center, Hermiston, Ore., to double the size of its child care center.

A complete list of the loan and grant recipients is available by going to: .

USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life in rural communities. As a venture capital entity, Rural Development has invested more than $76.8 billion since the beginning of the Bush Administration to provide equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development and critical community and technology infrastructure. More than 1.5 million jobs have been created or saved through these investments. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA’s web site at .


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