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Van Buren Receives REC/USDA Grant/Loan

I traveled to DM last Friday for a special event!  

Last December, the Board requested that I write a grant/application with the REC for Rural Economic Development.  Mr. & Mrs. Paul Wells (Jayne is on our board), knew about the REC / USDA grant / loan when Davis County schools applied and were awarded.  So.....they thought we might as well try for the financial support with our construction/remodeling project. 
As you know, December was a busy month!  I submitted the grant/loan just before break and beginning the construction project. 
We found out last Friday that we were awarded this grant/loan through REC and the USDA! 
Sam Rikkers, President Obama's appointed administrator for Rural Business-Cooperative Services who works with Vilsak was flown in from Washington, D.C. to present the awards.

Press Release below:  


USDA Awards $3.64 Million to Support Economic Development in Rural Iowa

DES MOINES, May 6, 2016 – USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Services Administrator, Sam Rikkers, today announced $3.64 million in loans and grants from the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDL&G) program, for six Iowa projects. These projects are in Guttenberg, Webster City, Keosauqua, Grundy Center, West Bend, and Rock Rapids. Project highlights include:

Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative received a $142,833 REDL&G grant to help the City of Guttenberg with the reconstruction of five blocks of downtown district water mains damaged by extreme cold temperatures.  

Grundy County Rural Electric Cooperative received a $300,000  REDL&G grant to help renovate Grundy County Memorial Hospital. The completed renovation project will provide improved health care, better patient privacy for the community, and new technology for the facility.

Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative received a $300,000 REDL&G grant to construct a new fire station in West Bend to better serve the community and house larger fire trucks. Additionally, the new facility will have a conference room that will be used to host trainings and community special events. 

Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities received a $300,000 REDL&G grant to construct a speculative building in the community to attract business to this rural area.

Southern Iowa Electric Cooperative received a $1 million REDL&G loan and a $300,000 grant to renovate Van Buren Community School District’s middle/high school. Improvements include creating extra essential classroom space and technology improvements to provide a high-quality learning experience.

Webster City received a $1 million REDL&G loan and a $300,000 grant to construct the 16,400 addition to the Van Diest Medical Center. The new space houses a medical clinic, meeting room, and pharmacy. Funding also allows for the hospital and its satellite clinics to implement a new medical records system.

“It is a special day when we gather together for the announcement of financial support for projects that are important to our rural Iowa communities,” said Rand Fisher, president of Iowa Area Development Group. “It is a testament to the tremendous support our rural utility providers make available to the communities and businesses they serve.”

USDA Awards $3.6 Million to Support Economic Development in Rural Iowa, continued…


Administrator Rikkers made the announcement on behalf of USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The Iowa awards are part of a national announcement of $39.3 million in loans and grants to 26 states. Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested $11 billion to start or expand 103,000 rural businesses; helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes; funded nearly 7,000 community facilities; financed 180,000 million of electric transmission and distribution lines; and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses.

About IADG

The Iowa Area Development Group is the marketing and business development office for Iowa’s member-owned rural electric cooperatives, select municipal electric utilities and independent telecommunication companies.  IADG has assisted with over 2,000 successful business expansions and start-up projects.  This growth represents capital investment of more than $10.15 billion and 51,500 jobs for Iowa.  The Iowa Area Development Group was established in 1985 to promote and strengthen rural Iowa development opportunities. Stay connected with IADG news at www.facebook.com/IADG.IA and www.twitter.com/IADGIOWA.