Grant funding through Central Electric to help T&C Fire Department with firetruck purchase

USDA announced recently that Central Electric Cooperative, Inc., in Mitchell will receive a Rural Economic Development grant to help the Town & Country Fire Department with their recent firetruck purchase.
The grant in the amount of $212,000, which covers nearly 80 percent of the cost of the truck the department received last November, will be loaned to the T&C Fire Department on zero percent interest. T&C will repay the money to the Rural Electric Economic Development (REED) Fund, from where the money can be re-loaned for other projects.
The Department had secured a loan at four percent interest for the entire cost to pay for the truck at the time of delivery. Total cost of the firetruck was $268,232. An opt-out for up to $50,000 for 10 years was passed in September of 2014 and began being levied on 2015 taxes.
These grant funds, which were announced by the USDA on Friday, will save the department the four percent annual interest on 80 percent of cost of the truck.
The Rural Economic Development Loan (REDL) and Grant (REDG) programs provide funding to rural projects through local utility organizations. Under the REDGrant program, USDA provides grant funds to local utility organizations, which use the funding to establish revolving loan funds. Loans are made from the revolving loan funds to projects to help create or retain rural jobs.
The REED Fund is a community development financial institution that provides financing and helps to leverage local investments. The REED Fund serves most of eastern South Dakota and parts of Minnesota through rural cooperatives.
A total of $2.5 million in USDA funding will become available for four projects in South Dakota with this announcement, including new IT equipment for the Huron Regional Medical Center, medical equipment for the Milbank Area Hospital and funding to the West River Foundation for working capital, equipment, land and building for projects.
Funds will become available when the final paperwork has been filed and approved.

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