A key leader of an Iowa coop is now holding a national post. Roger Arthur, president of Allamakee-Clayton Electric Co-op in far northeastern Iowa, was recently elected to a national board that deals with cooperative financing and explains they had to get involved in finance to run their energy industry. Arthur was recently elected to the National Rural Utilities Co-op Finance Corporation. He explains it’s a financial co-op the rural power companies started in 1969 as a source of the money because they had such heavy expenses building generating plants and transmission facilities. Since they deal in big-ticket financing, it’s only natural that the power co-ops are looking around for ways to use that economic muscle to help their hometowns. The coops are very interested in economic development and have been pushing it for a long time. A study’s been completed that Arthur says found in the last year electric co-ops contributed almost a Billion dollars to the economy. Arthur says co-ops are always financing projects in their hometowns to help business start up and expand. Arthur says we need to improve our economy in Iowa, and the co-ops aim to do that by the kind of economic development that brings new businesses into towns. “Not necessarily huge industries, but a lot of small industries that provide jobs for 20, thirty, forty people.” He says the state’s electric coops are putting a lot of emphasis on helping that kind of development. Arthur’s also a member of the board of directors of the state’s association of electric co-ops.
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