COLUMBUS, Ohio — The federal government is investing more than $50 million in Ohio's rural infrastructure.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, four projects throughout Ohio will receive funding as a grant or loan.
“The whole idea behind USDA’s Rural Development Branch, Rural Development Division, is that there are things that are in the common good for all of us that maybe private industry just wouldn’t do without a little bit of incentive,” said Spectrum News agriculture expert Andy Vance.
Consolidated Electric Cooperative Inc. will receive $24,988,000 as a loan.
According to a USDA release, “This Rural Development investment will be used to connect 800 consumers, and build and improve 73 miles of line. This loan includes smart grid technologies in the amount of $6,553,200. Consolidated Electric Cooperative Inc.”
Consolidated Electric Cooperative is headquartered in Mt. Gilead.
Meanwhile, Holmes-Wayne Electric Cooperative will receive $25,000,000 as a loan to, “connect 1,003 consumers, and build and improve 121 miles of line,” the release said.
Holmes-Wayne Electric Cooperative is headquartered in Millersburg.
“Electricity is something we take for granted now, but out in the rural parts of the state, it’s more expensive to service because the distances involved and fewer customers,” Vance said.
Also receiving funding are the villages of Bowerston and Delta.
Delta will receive a $3,200,000 loan for the construction of storm and sanitary lines. Bowerstown will receive a $1,200,000 loan and a $1,335,000 grant to improve its drinking water distribution system.
The investment will fund more than 125 projects throughout the country.