The U.S. Department of Agriculture handed out one-point-six million dollars to six rural Iowa organizations Tuesday for economic development projects. The grants will help build an assisted living center in Algona, a new hospital in Orange City, and an organic soybean processing facility in Fredericksburg. Tim Ryan is the Acting Deputy Undersecretary of Rural Development for the U-S-D-A. He says ten years ago you couldn’t sell quality of life when it came to economic development and why people should move or come to a location. He says that has begun to evolve and since 9-11 it’s really taken hold that quality of life makes a difference. Ryan says this latest award is part of an effort to help rural areas. He says since January of 2001, Rural Development, by the end of this month will have delivered 50-billion dollars worth of program assistance, mortgages and loan guarantees to rural America. Ryan says the efforts will have long-term impact.He says they can partner and continue to see communities growth and prosper. He says they can help communities increase their tax base so they eventually become more self-sustainable. Other grants were awarded to revolving loan funds in Cherokee and Sioux City and to the Access Energy Cooperative in Mount Pleasant.
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