USDA Rural Development Funding Had Large Impact in Rural Iowa in 2011


December 21st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The State Director of USDA Rural Development in Iowa says funds from USDA Rural Development continue to have a dramatic impact on communities across the State.

Bill Menner, USDA Director of Rural Development in IA

Bill Menner says in 2011, the agency awarded $431 million in direct loans, guaranteed loans and grants to help create and/or retain 1,900 jobs, improve infrastructure and services in 80 communities and assist 2,000 families with home purchases. In addition to generating jobs, Menner says  USDA Rural Development investments are creating ongoing economic opportunities in rural America that will pay benefits for years to come. Funds from the agency’s programs help modernize essential water systems, build clinics and hospitals, support renewable energy systems, energy conservation, and ensure affordable housing for rural residents.

From new hospitals to increased, affordable housing to thriving small businesses, Menner says USDA Rural Development has been a partner in a number of great projects in rural Iowa during the past 12 months including:  

  • The Clarinda Regional Health Center…which has provided health care services in southwest Iowa for more than 70 years…is opening a replacement critical access hospital in January 2012 thanks to a nearly $19 million loan from USDA Rural Development. The project created more than 400 construction jobs over an 18-month period and will ensure continued employment of the 170 hospital staff. 
  • The Hotel Iowana, built in 1920 in Creston, which had been vacant for many years, and was an eyesore in the community’s central business district.  Menner says earlier this month, thanks in part to a $1 million loan from USDA Rural Development, the historic building has new life and re-opened its doors as a senior living apartment complex. Menner says throughout the construction progress there were approximately 60 workers on the site full-time, many of them from areas outside of Creston, creating a tremendous impact on the local economy, both for hotels and for restaurants.

Menner says “Our agency is eager to build on the success of the past and help foster an even brighter future for rural Iowa. If you have an idea on how jobs can be created in rural Iowa, or how a rural community can improve the quality of life experience for their residents, give us a call today.” The number to call is (515) 284-4663. More information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available online, at