In order to ensure our continued growth as a country, we need to be sure that every community is given the attention it needs. Rural communities across the country need a greater focus as the infrastructure debate heats up in Washington. Ensuring that electric grids are up to date, that transmission and distribution lines are able to bring electricity to every household, is vitally important for the success of local communities. The Department of Agriculture recently announced a number of loans that intend to do exactly that.
Nine states are in line for $200 million in loans specifically to help them update and expand their rural infrastructure. M & A Electric Power Cooperative in Polar Bluff, Missouri will receive $38.4 million to build an additional 30 miles of electric line, and more than 1,200 miles of line will be built with these new loans. These upgrades will help improve quality of life in rural communities, but will also have lasting economic benefits as towns are better able to access the internet and attract businesses.
“Investing in electric infrastructure is critical to the success of businesses, residents and farmers in our small towns and rural areas,” said Anne Hazlett, assistant for rural development to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “These loans will help provide reliable electricity to rural areas in more efficient and sustainable ways than ever before.”
The GAIN coalition is happy to see this investment in such an important part of our country’s infrastructure. Supporting upgrades and growth for our rural infrastructure, whether that be electric, broadband, or simple roads and bridges, is a necessary step to ensure that our infrastructure is rebuilt and improved across the board. We applaud these investments, and hope more like them aren’t far behind.