WASHINGTON, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–June 23, 2014. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development division has awarded loans totaling $2,405,000 and grants totaling $1,068,500 to communities across Central and Southern Illinois. The funding used in this announcement will support water and waste infrastructure construction projects, small business initiatives and local economic development.
“This federal investment will create local, good-paying jobs in communities in Central and Southern Illinois, in addition to helping protect public health, safety and welfare of their residents,” Durbin said.
Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program
The Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) Program provides grants for rural projects that finance and facilitate development of small and emerging rural businesses help fund distance learning networks, and help fund employment related adult education programs.
The Village of Teutopolis (Effingham County, Illinois): awarded a Rural Business Enterprise Grant of $99,000 to construct water and sewer lines to serve three expanding small businesses in a new business development in Teutopolis.
WIU Foundation (McDonough County, Illinois): awarded a Rural Business Enterprise Grant of $96,000 to provide technical assistance to small and emerging businesses in Neoga, Rushville and Strasburg, Illinois through the Peace Corps Fellows program.
Rural Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program
USDA Rural Water and Waste Disposal Loans are used to develop drinking water and waste disposal systems, including solid waste disposal and storm drainage systems in rural areas and towns. Water and Waste Disposal Grants seek to reduce water and waste disposal costs to a reasonable level for rural areas.
- Millstone Water District (Pope County, Illinois): awarded a Water and Waste Disposal grant of $830,000 and loan of $1,405,000 to renovate the District’s existing water treatment plant.
Emergency Community Water Assistance Grant Program
The Emergency Community Water Assistance Grant Program assists rural communities that have experienced a significant decline in quantity or quality of drinking water to obtain or maintain adequate quantities of water that meets the standards set by the Safe Drinking Water Act.
- Village of Ransom (LaSalle County, Illinois): awarded an Emergency Community Water Assistance grant of $43,500 to cover repair costs to the water distribution system. The Village suffered damage to its water tower and transmission lines due to the extreme cold during the winter of 2014, which significantly impacted their ability to deliver water to the community.
Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program
Rural Economic Development Loan (REDLG) Program provides funding to rural projects through local utility organizations. Under the REDLoan program, USDA provides zero interest loans to local utilities which they, in turn, pass through to local businesses for projects that create and retain employment in rural areas.
- Western Illinois Electric Cooperative (Hancock County, Illinois):awarded a Rural Economic Development Loan of $1,000,000 to help construct a grain mill and pelletizing plant that will create 25 new jobs and support 17 current positions.