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jonathan adelstein

USDA Provides Historic Funding To Create Jobs, Improve Electric Service in Virginia

Since its humble beginnings over 75 years ago, the Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) in Virginia has provided reliable and affordable electricity to its 18-County service area located South of Richmond, the State Capital.

Yesterday marked a milestone for the electric coop with the announcement by Jonathan Adelstein, the Rural Utilities Administrator, of over $44.8 million dollars in guaranteed loan assistance. This will be the largest single loan and expansion project ever taken on by the cooperative.

“The guaranteed funding through the RUS Program will enable us to complete key projects that will improve reliability, customer service, and give us additional capacity to meet future load requirements which assist our local communities with economic development,” said Jeff Edwards, SEC President and CEO. He went on to say, “An exciting part of this expansion will be the implementation of Smart Grid Technology. This will allow for customers to actually monitor their power usage and help conserve electricity during peak times of the day.”

Earth Day Funding Celebration in Montross, Virginia

Speaking to a room full of happy citizens in Westmoreland County, Rural Utilities Service Administrator Jonathan Adelstein congratulated them on the new sewer extension project that will be a real game changer for their community. “I am proud to mark Earth Day 2012 with this partnership between Rural Development and the Community and it is infrastructure projects like this that ensures that rural communities have their basic needs met in terms of clean water and modern, up-to-date sewer facilities,” said Adelstein.   The ceremony highlighted the new $5.6 million dollar regional sewer extension project that will upon completion provide over 450 new homes and numerous businesses in the area with connectivity to the Coles Point wastewater treatment plant.

Also speaking at the event, Mr. Darryl Fisher-Chairman of the Westmoreland Board of Supervisor and local business owner said, “We would not be able to move forward in this community without this critical assistance.  We have several areas of the community where land just would not be suitable for individual septic systems to construct homes and businesses and this new extension will provide us viable options for the future of this region.

South Dakota Communications Cooperative Recognized at White House “Champions of Change” Event

Headquartered in the community of Highmore in the heart of South Dakota, Venture Communications Cooperative is committed to providing friendly, first-rate service.  Commitment to their members and customers has distinguished them as one of several businesses from across the country that were invited to Washington, D.C., today to share their ideas directly with the Obama Administration on how to strengthen rural communities and promote economic growth.  It’s called “Champions of Change”.

Venture Communications Cooperative was selected because of the broadband infrastructure and service expansion improvements they’ve made.  Venture Communications can streamline business communications from local and long distance phone services to Internet access.

Who Will Get the First Bath?

Recently, I had the pleasure to travel to the rural Alaskan communities of Kwigillingok, Kasigluk, and Pitkas Point.  The visit was made along with Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Administrator Jonathan Adelstein, Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund, and a few of our major program partners.  As with other trips, the site visits to these communities were a reminder of why the Rural Alaska Village grant program and other Rural Development programs are so vital to rural communities.

The water and wastewater conditions in these three villages and other Alaskan communities are staggering. Drinking water is hauled from local watering points, which clearly do not meet safe drinking water standards.  Wastewater is hauled by utilizing honey buckets.  The same path that kids play and walk to and from school, is the same route that individuals routinely walk with their five gallon buckets  of wastewater to honey bucket transfer stations.

USDA Administrator Jonathan Adelstein Joins Tour of Rural Alaska Village Grant project sites

In what was some of the most beautiful weather Southwest Alaska had seen recently, USDA Administrator Jonathan Adelstein joined the USDA-Rural Development Alaska team to tour several rural communities including Manokotak, New Stuyahok, Kasigluk and Kwigillingok and Pitkas Point.  The site tours were part of viewing Rural Alaska Village Grant (RAVG) program projects USDA helped fund over the past few years.

Black Hills of South Dakota Hosts Second White House Business Roundtable

Officials from USDA met with business leaders in Rapid City, South Dakota to seek their input on ways federal, state and local officials can help improve economic conditions and create jobs.  The session was the second White House Business Council meeting held; the first was held in Missouri.  The meeting was hosted by Kristi Wagner, Program Developer with South Dakota Rural Enterprise, Inc. and facilitated by Jonathan Adelstein, Administrator of USDA Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service, and a member of the White House Business Council on Winning the Future.

Adelstein said, "We heard really a lot of good advice from business leaders that are skilled in creating jobs in South Dakota. They're sometimes frustrated with the government, they're sometimes very happy about ways the government has helped them to succeed. And we're trying to learn from the good things, we're trying to streamline and get the bureaucracy out of the way and make sure regulation doesn't inhibit job growth."  Adelstein says White House officials will leave Washington and reach out to the business leaders in every state by the middle of June.

USDA Administrator Visits the “Show Me State” to Review Business, Telecom and Broadband Investments

A three day visit to Missouri, the “Show Me State” allowed me to join Janie Dunning, Rural Development State Director, to see how rural areas benefiting from infrastructure investments made possible through USDA Rural Development programs and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) financing.

White House Business Council Roundtable held in Mexico, Missouri

Cross posted from the White House blog:

Twenty business leaders from Mexico, Missouri, joined me at the Mid America Brick plant recently for the first White House Business Council Roundtable meeting in Missouri.  President Obama asked me, along with other senior Administration officials, to facilitate a discussion to seek their input on ways the federal government can improve economic conditions and help them create jobs.

When you think of “bricks and mortar” for cementing economic development, there is no better place than the heartland of America at a brick plant for a setting.  Mexico, Missouri, was once known as the brick capital of the world, but its biggest factory shut down in 2002.  An energetic entrepreneur, Frank Cordie, CEO of Mid America Brick, is bringing it back to life.  Mr. Cordie graciously hosted and assisted with inviting key business leaders from the region.  His company is using USDA funding, as well as other financing, to restore this icon of the local business community, which at one time was the main employer in this rural town.  A tour of the plant made me believe he is well on the way to success.  I have never found a more committed group of leaders to their community.

USDA Utilities Administrator Announces Support to Improve Electric Service and Provide Smart Grid Technology to Thousands of Colorado Residents

Jonathan Adelstein, USDA Rural Development Rural Utilities Administrator joined Colorado Rural Development Director Jim Isgar and representatives from Colorado’s congressional delegation for a ceremonial presentation at Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association, Inc. in Windsor, Colorado.

The entity was recently awarded a $43 million Rural Electric Loan to connect 2,069 new consumers while building 54 miles of new distribution line.  The funding is a win-win project for the co-op, the consumers are helped by offering a better and more reliable product and the co-op will be able to increase efficiency.  The loan will allow the entity to make improvements to 186 miles of distribution lines.   The project also includes $6.7 million in smart grid technologies, which will be used for technology, such as advanced metering and can provide data to consumers and utilities to better manage power use and costs.