Funding from the USDA Rural Development program invested $431 million into rural Iowa in 2011, including $14.5 million across the Iowa Quad-City region, the agency reported. 

Rural Development invested in direct loans, guaranteed loans and grants across the state helping create or retain a total of 1,900 jobs, improve infrastructure and expand other services to 80 communities. In addition, the agency’s funding assisted 2,000 Iowa families in purchasing a home. 

“At USDA Rural Development, our focus is on the viability of rural communities which are so vital to our state and nation,” said Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development’s state director in Iowa. “These are the places that help support American agriculture and foster an ethic that impacts our work force, our military and our economy.”

Funds from the agency’s programs helped modernize essential water systems, build clinics and hospitals, support renewable energy systems, energy conservation and ensure affordable housing for rural residents. 

In the Quad-City region, most of its funding focused on housing programs. 

Here’s a look at how Rural Development funding assisted the Quad-City region’s four counties: 

-- Scott — Two business awards totaling $30,479; 51 guaranteed home mortgage loans totaling $6.4 million. 

-- Cedar — Two business awards, $46,453 total; two direct home mortgage loans, $246,000 total; 23 guaranteed home mortgage loans, totaling $2.4 million; and two grants/loans for home repairs, $8,253.

-- Clinton — One business grant, $10,910; 25 guaranteed home mortgage loans, totaling $6.4 million; three loans/grants for home repairs, $11,541. 

-- Muscatine — 22 home guaranteed mortgage loans, totaling $2.5 million.

Among the projects supported across the state was a $19 million loan for the opening of a replacement Clarinda Regional Health Center. The project created more than 400 construction jobs and ensured the continued employment of 170 hospital staff. 

“Our agency is eager to build on the success of the past and help foster an even brighter future for rural Iowa,” Menner said. 

For more information on USDA Rural Development, visit the website at rurdev.usda.gov/ia or call (515) 284-4663. 

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