Kentucky and North Carolina have received funding to increase rural development in their states. The Department of Agriculture awarded Kentucky over $53 million in loans and grants to build up the state’s rural infrastructure and bring economic development to outlying areas. North Carolina was awarded $6 million to support health care in rural communities.
Kentucky’s three awards were made through the USDA Rural Development’s Electric Program, which provides loans and guaranteed loans to electric utilities to upgrade, expand, maintain and replace rural electric infrastructure.
- Jackson Energy Cooperative Corporation has been selected for a $20 million guaranteed loan to serve 3,425 new consumers, build 152 miles of new distribution line, make improvements to 116 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements.
- Meade County Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation has been selected for an $18.5 million guaranteed loan to serve 1,425 new and existing consumers, build 60 miles of new distribution line, make improvements to 309 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements.
- Clark Energy Cooperative Inc. has been selected for a $14 million guaranteed loan to serve 2,134 new consumers, build 104 miles of new distribution line, make improvements to 54 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements.
In addition to infrastructure, awards were also given increase economic development and create jobs. Kentucky will be able to establish a revolving loan fund for small and emerging businesses located in rural counties.
North Carolina will use a $6 million award to create new health care facilities, renovate existing facilities and purchase new equipment. The funds were the result of an initiative created by Governor Purdue – the Rural Hope initiative that combines public and private funds to provide support for necessary services and economic development in rural areas of North Carolina.