Announcement at Percival Scientific highlights record level of Iowa investments through Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program

Submitted by U.S. Department of Agriculture

PERRY – The Trump Administration, along with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Iowa Grant Menke, announced on Tuesday, Oct. 27 that the USDA is investing $16.8 million in 25 projects to create over 200 jobs and increase economic opportunities throughout rural Iowa. These funding awards, made through USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program, were announced at Percival Scientific, an innovative designer and manufacturer of controlled environment chambers, and an ultimate recipient of two of the REDLG awards. 

Tuesday's announcement is part of a record level of Iowa investment – in both the amount of funds awarded ($16.8 million) and the number of projects (25) – in one fiscal year through the USDA Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program. 

“The REDLG program is one of the most versatile, efficient and effective funding tools to enhance economic opportunities and create jobs in rural America,” said Menke. “Through key partnerships with rural electric cooperatives, rural telephone cooperatives, municipal utilities, and supporting organizations such as the Iowa Area Development Group, Iowa continues to lead the nation in delivering REDLG investments and projects. Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to increasing prosperity across rural America, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.” 

USDA is investing in 25 Iowa REDLG projects for Fiscal Year 2020, including the following:

  • Minburn Communications and Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO) will each use $1 million loans to assist Percival Scientific in purchasing equipment and expanding its manufacturing facility to design and produce controlled environment chambers in Perry, creating 12 new jobs. CIPCO was also awarded an additional six loans and three grants totaling $7.7 million to assist with eight other job creation projects across rural Iowa during the year.
  • Chariton Valley Electric Cooperative will utilize a $1 million loan to assist Preferred Wholesale, Inc., in Albia, Iowa, in expanding its snack food production and distribution business by constructing a new distribution warehouse center and office facility, which will create 15 new jobs.
  • Butler County Rural Electric Cooperative will utilize a $1 million loan and Corn Belt Power Cooperative will use a $300,000 grant to assist the Waverly Health Center in Waverly, Iowa, with a renovation and expansion of its 25-bed critical access, community-owned hospital, creating 15 new jobs. Corn Belt Power Cooperative will also provide $60,000 in matching funds to support the project.
  • Raccoon Valley Electric Cooperative will utilize a $300,000 grant to increase its existing revolving loan fund and make its initial loan to assist the City of Arcadia, Iowa, with an expansion and renovation of its current fire station. The project will expand the fire station by 1,250 ft. to accommodate bigger equipment and add separate accessible bathrooms, a new kitchen, a meeting room, and a separate equipment area. To complete the project, grant funds will be matched with an additional $60,000 from Raccoon Valley Electric Cooperative.
  • C-M-L Telephone Cooperative Association will use a $524,000 loan to assist Jeneary Dental with the acquisition and expansion of a dental facility within the rural community of Cherokee, Iowa. The funds will be utilized for remodeling and technology upgrades to expand the facility’s dental offerings and provide more services to its growing patient base.