USDA REDLG cap increases

Utilities may receive up to $2 million in low interest financing

Public power utilities seeking financing for their community development projects can dream bigger.

USDA Rural Development’s REDLG program has bumped its maximum loan request amount from $1 million to $2 million. Recipients may also still apply for up to $300,000 in grants through the program.

REDLG, or Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant Program, provides funding for rural projects through local utility organizations. USDA provides zero-interest loans to local utilities which they, in turn, pass through to local businesses for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas.

“This is a terrific program for infrastructure projects, start-ups or expansions,” said Heartland Director of Economic Development Casey Crabtree. “Facilities and equipment for economic development education and training, or for medical care or technical assistance are also eligible projects. The sky is the limit.”

As a utility provider, Heartland may apply for REDLG loans and pass through for customer use–one of only two entities in the state of South Dakota that can do so.

“Since 2016, we’ve applied for nearly $3.1 million in REDLG loans and grants on behalf of our customers,” Crabtree said. “It’s been a fantastic tool for getting projects off the ground.”

Most recently, Heartland utilized REDLG to help finance an infrastructure expansion in an industrial park in Arlington, SD and the construction of a $1.6 million multi-use community building in White, SD.

Crabtree thinks more customers should follow suit, as Heartland can apply for REDLG funds as needed.

“Our customers have a unique opportunity to utilize these funds. We’re more than willing to partner with them to take next steps and see their cities grow and develop,” he said.