Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced that Otsego County, Delaware County, Chenango County, and Schoharie County are set to receive a $5,113,000 federal loan through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development program. Specifically, they will use the funding to help finance 7 new miles while also improving, 25 miles of line. The loan funding also includes $37,200 for smart grid projects.
“This federal investment is good news for Upstate New York,” said Senator Schumer. “These federal funds will help boost economic development while helping to ensure that these communities continue to be attractive places to live and do business. I am proud to announce this federal investment and will continue to fight to make sure that rural communities have the tools they need to build, protect and maintain their infrastructure.”
“Improving our electrical grid in Upstate New York is essential to connecting our communities to opportunity and supporting job creation,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I will always fight in the Senate to ensure that our rural communities have the federal funds they need to modernize their infrastructure and grow their local economy.”
Mark Schneider, CEO and General Manager, stated “The Delaware County Electric Cooperative participates in the USDA Rural Utility Service lending program in order to fund capital investment in our utility plant. We borrow long term to build new substations and electric distribution lines. RUS provides the lowest interest rate available to the Cooperative, so this is the least expensive way for the Cooperative to expand and update our utility infrastructure. Our members benefit from lower electric rates and more reliable utility operations due to the Cooperative’s participation in RUS programs. RUS also assures that participating cooperatives meet standards including technical, engineering, and civil rights standards.” He continued: “The RUS lending program is good for the federal government and for rural America. The program is self-sustaining from interest income. It also allows rural communities to make critical investments in the infrastructure necessary to sustain healthy, vibrant communities with opportunities for economic development. RUS has been and will continue to be an essential component of the Cooperative’s success.”
USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. This funding is awarded through the Electric Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program administered by the USDA’s Rural Development agency. The Rural Development agency is committed to improving economies and lives in rural America through loans, grants and loan guarantees. They support local businesses, individuals, and communities by promoting economic development, offering loans and providing technical assistance.