Eight projects in areas of rural Iowa are getting zero-interest loans and grants from a U.S. Department of Agriculture program. U.S.D.A. Rural Business Service Administrator Lillian Salerno says the revolving loan funds are directed to rural utility companies which then lend the money to a local project.
For instance, the Midland Power Cooperative in the west-central Iowa town of Jefferson is handling a $1 million loan. “That will be used to build a manufacturing facility in Humboldt and create 14 jobs,” Salerno said. The new manufacturing plant in Humboldt is for the Precision Tank and Equipment Company. A $2 million loan is going to an electric cooperative in Clarke County. That money will help the Clarke County Public Hospital with renovations to its campus in Osceola.
Spencer Municipal Utilities is receiving a $300,000 grant.”That will help the City of Spencer buy equipment for an emergency communications center to improve response time and community safety,” Salerno said. Other loans and grants will help fix up a building for a retail business in Orange City, finance a new city hall and community center in the northwest Iowa town of Bronson, and help the Wapsie Valley Creamery buy cheese making equipment and expand its milk processing facility.
A $325,000 loan will help Fairfield Organics buy new equipment. A total of $22.5 million was awarded last week to organizations in Iowa and eight other states. The funding is provided through the USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program.