USDA Rural Development invests $331 million in rural Iowa | News

(Des Moines) — The United States Department of Agriculture is continuing to invest more than $300 million in rural infrastructure in Iowa.

USDA Rural Development last month announced a $331 million investment to improve critical infrastructure in rural Iowa. Theresa Greenfield, director of rural development for Iowa USDA, said the investment is part of a larger USDA $5.2 billion investment in 46 states and Puerto Rico. Greenfield says 16 projects received USDA Rural Development loans and/or grants for four different project types.

“Our community connection grants that help with broadband access in underserved communities, as well as our power infrastructure loan and loan guarantee programs,” Greenfield said. “And then the Water and Wastewater Loan and Grant Program, and the Water and Wastewater Loan Guarantee Programs.”

The investment also comes after Iowa saw nearly $700 million invested in more than 50 USDA rural development programs in 2021.

Specifically, in KMAland, the town of Farragut received a total of just over $3.1 million under the Water and Wastewater Loan and Grant Program. Greenfield says the dollars will go to the city’s lagoon cell.

“They got quite a bit of investment in the form of water and waste disposal loans, to help them renovate a lagoon cell and improve their city sanitary sewer system,” Greenfield said. “They really needed to try and meet those floodplain standards, and these resources will help them do that.”

Additionally, the Southern Iowa Rural Water Association received a $12,000,000 loan for a new water treatment plant with Three Mile Lake in Union County serving as the water source.

Greenfield says the plant will benefit several KMAland counties and their available drinking water. She says this is just the latest investment in a water treatment plant in southwestern Iowa, with Shenandoah recently receiving a USDA loan and grant for a similar project.

“In Shenandoah, they received $19.7 million in grants and loans for improvements to their city’s sewage treatment plant, and those were rewarded in December,” Greenfield said. “So they’re in the final design stages and we’ll start to see their project come out of the ground soon.”

Greenfield says Clarinda Regional Health Center received $9.5 million in community facility loans in 2020 for expansion and renovation projects.

The USDA also announced a pair of investments in Pottawattamie County, including a $3.9 million water and wastewater loan to Neola and a similar $509,000 loan to Carter Lake. For more information on loans or grants provided, or any other programs available through USDA Rural Development, contact Iowa Headquarters at 515-284-4663 or the Atlantic Office at 712 -243-2107.

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