Lincoln, Nebraska--Nebraska’s rural communities received more than $244 million in USDA Rural Development funding in federal fiscal year 2013, completed on September 30. In five years, USDA has invested more than $1.25 billion in Nebraska, according to Rural Development State Director Maxine Moul. In the 18 year history of the agency, funding totals more than $2.5 billion in Nebraska. The total portfolio of current loans, loans and loan guarantees under management by the Nebraska Rural Development staff is $1.21 billion.
The program funds assist housing, business and community development, water and waste water, energy, distance learning and telemedicine, electric and telecommunications. Water and waste water funds are limited to communities of less than 10,000 population. Housing and community facility funding is available to towns of 20,000 population or less. The 2014 Farm Bill, passed this week allows the communities of Norfolk and Columbus, although over the 20,000 population threshold, to remain eligible for housing programs until the 2020 Census is implemented. Businesses and industries in communities up to 50,000 residents can obtain funding through the business programs.
“Essentially, we can work with every community in this state, outside of Metro Omaha and Lincoln and Grand Island,” Moul said. “The 50 Nebraska employees of USDA Rural Development look forward to serving rural Nebraska in the next year.” Funding is available for fiscal year 2014 and applications are being accepted.
“Nebraska communities, businesses and citizens invested millions of dollars in fiscal year 2013, with the support and resources of USDA Rural Development,” said Moul. “Our Nebraska staff strives each year to utilize the financial resources available through USDA Rural Development to help build stronger rural communities throughout the state.”
Private and community foundations and counties, municipalities and other local governments contributed strongly to the projects funded in the past year. For every dollar invested by USDA Rural Development for direct loans for community facilities, 53 cents was contributed at the local level. Business program guaranteed loan funding was matched by local funding with 90 cents per every federal dollar.
Nearly $129.3 million was delivered to Nebraska for housing, which was a record year.
• The Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan program and the Single Family Housing Direct Loan program brought homeownership to 1,299 households through more than $129 million.
• The Rural Home Repair Loan and Grant program provided $273,341 in assistance to 50 Nebraska homeowners for essential repairs.
•A Rural Rental Housing Guarantee backed the loan provided by a bank to construct Eastward Village apartments in McCook, Nebraska offering 27 units of affordable apartment living.
• More than $6.1 million of rental assistance and vouchers were provided to 1,680 tenants residing in Rural Development multi-family rural rental housing complexes. There are 213 multi-family projects in the state.
• The Multi-Family Housing Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) program provided an $80,000 grant to Imperial Housing Authority, a Multi-Family Housing project, to complete electrical repairs for the health and safety of their tenants and to revitalize the property.
More than $44 million was delivered to Nebraska through its Community Programs.
• The Community Facilities Program assisted 11 communities through $31.1 million for libraries, public safety, community/senior centers, health facilities, tribal colleges and installations for electronic medical records. This included a Tribal College grant in the amount of $125,549 awarded to Nebraska Indian Community College for the campus at Santee.
• Through the Water and Environmental Programs, 13 communities and 12,513 rural residents were helped by $12.9 million in funding for safe, potable drinking water and safe and sanitary wastewater disposal.
More than $20 million was delivered through various business programs. The programs assisted 153 businesses, four cooperatives, and 75 Ag producers. Jobs totaling 258 were created and/or saved.
• The Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan program made available nearly $11.9 million that, through leveraging, assisted nine businesses.
• The Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program provided five grants totaling nearly $269,000.
• Through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program, one loan for $798,000 and four grants for more than $1,200,000 were awarded.
• The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) provided three grant renewals totaling nearly $80,869. Since 2010, three recipients have received loans totaling $1.2 million. To date, 36 ultimate recipient loans have been made for nearly $974,000. The RMAP program dollars were leveraged with more than $1.4 million in local funds, and 115 jobs have been created or saved.
• The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program provided funding totaling $367,000 to three producers.
• One Rural Cooperative Development Grant for $200,000 was awarded.
• Through the 9007 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), Nebraska was awarded 102 projects for a total of more than $1.8 million for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
• The Advanced Biofuel Payment Program issued 15 payments totaling nearly $3.4 million to advanced biofuel producers to support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels.
USDA Rural Utilities Service Guaranteed Loans totaling $42.4 million were received by Hartington Telecommunications, Inc and two rural electric recipients serving western Nebraska counties. The Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program awarded funding totaling $1,187,430 to three Nebraska Educational Service Unit (ESU) recipients.
Visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ne/ for additional program information or to locate an USDA Rural Development Office nearest you.
For additional information on RD projects, please visit Rural Development’s new interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2012. The data can be found at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.