While hundreds of millions of Recovery dollars have been awarded to big projects in major cities, a range of lesser amounts has been awarded to rural or out-of-the-way places across the country. The U.S. Department of Agriculture in particular has issued such awards to fund projects. Here are five.
New Hospital in Nebraska
With help from a $12.6 million Recovery loan from USDA’s Rural Development Community Facility Direct Loan program, officials in Geneva, Nebraska built a new hospital in Fillmore County. The facility – total cost $18.5 million – covers more than 56,000 square feet, including almost 8,500 square feet of medical office space and will provide care to the roughly 6,600 people in the area. The terms of the Recovery loan: 40 years at a 4 percent interest rate.
New Saw Mill in Idaho
Emerald Forest Products, Inc., was able to complete construction of a saw mill in Emmett, Idaho, thanks to a $4 million grant. The company invested $6 million into the overall $10 million project but needed the Recovery grant for the final phase. Now operational, the mill is the only one within a 140-mile radius and is expected to play a major role in supplying construction material for the Treasure Valley area. The mill will also serve as a backup fuel source for a proposed biomass power plant scheduled to be built in the vicinity.
Trail Maintenance in the Southwest
Funded by a $400,000 grant from the Forest Service, crews have been working on more than 26,000 linear feet of trails throughout the Coronado National Forest, which spans eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. Much of the work has concentrated on eliminating invasive grasses that pose wildfire hazards throughout the region, including the Santa Catalina, Douglas, Nogales, Sierra Vista, and Safford Ranger Districts. Project officials expect the crews to complete work by the end of this spring.
New Public Recreation Cabin in Alaska
USDA awarded a $158,000 Recovery contract to Channel Construction of Alaska to build a new public recreation cabin in the village of Hoonah in the southeastern part of the state. Furnished with a stove, table, benches, bunks and featuring a full loft, the completed cabin meets Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and is available to Hoonah’s 850 residents. The cabin was built in central Hoonah and then transported via barge to its nearby location along the Eight Fathom Bight shoreline.
A Loan Fund in Kansas
USDA awarded a Recovery-funded Rural Business Enterprise Grant for $95,000 to establish a revolving loan fund for small and emerging businesses in Cherryvale, Kansas. Loans of up to $25,000 at below-market financing rates will be available so that owners can either improve their existing businesses or develop new ones. Local officials are hoping the loans will increase both the quality and number of businesses – mostly storefront commerce – throughout the Cherryvale area.
(All photos courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture)
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