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Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding to Improve Rural Electric Service to Thousands of Customers in 18 States PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Friday, 10 August 2012 07:52
Almost $29 million in Smart Grid Projects Included

WASHINGTON, August 9, 2012 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that rural electric utilities in 18 states will receive loan guarantees to make improvements to electric lines, transmission facilities and to reduce peak electric loads by deploying smart grid technologies. USDA Rural Utilities Administrator Jonathan Adelstein made the announcement on Vilsack's behalf while visiting the offices of one of the recipients, Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) in Crewe, Virginia. The cooperative is using funds to build and improve a distribution line, transmission line, and will invest almost $7.4 million for smart grid system enhancements. In all, service will be upgraded for about 1,500 SEC members.

"Maintaining and upgrading rural electric systems improves system reliability, creates jobs and supports economic development," Vilsack said. "With these loans, we are continuing to help cooperatives provide reliable service to rural residents. A significant portion of this funding will go to smart grid technologies, helping consumers lower their electric bills and reducing peak demand for producers."

With this funding, USDA Rural Development moves closer to reaching Secretary Vilsack's goal to fund more than $250 million for smart grid technologies. Today's announcement includes support for nearly $29 million in smart grid projects. In all, USDA is investing more than $420 million in rural electric infrastructure.

The following is a list of rural utilities that will receive USDA funding, which is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement.

Idaho/Oregon/Washington

  • Clearwater Power Company -- $13,524,000. Funds will vey used to serve about 500 consumers, build and improve 132 miles of distribution line and 5 miles of transmission line, and make other system improvements.

Indiana

  • Whitewater Valley Rural Electric Membership Corporation – $12,000,000. Funds will be used to serve 240 consumers, build and improve 121 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan includes $519,405 in smart grid projects.

Kansas

  • Leavenworth-Jefferson Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $7,580,000. Funds will be used to serve 375 consumers, build and improve 100 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $104,028 in smart grid projects.

Kentucky

  • Pennyrile Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation – $22,894,000. Funds will be used to serve about 2,800 customers, build and improve 248 miles of distribution and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $232,800 in smart grid projects.
  • Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation – $13,000,000. Funds will be used to serve about 3,300 consumers, build and improve 216 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements.

Minnesota

  • Lake Region Electric Cooperative – $27,151,000. Funds will be used to serve about 1,300 consumers, build and improve 151 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $3,297,855 in smart grid projects.

Mississippi

  • Coast Electric Power Association – $51,766,000. Funds will be used to serve 9,240 consumers, build and improve 246 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $128,000 in smart grid projects.

North Carolina

  • Central Electric Membership Corporation – $22,000,000. Funds will be used to serve about 2,800 consumers, build and improve 102 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $278,800 in smart grid projects.

New York

  • Steuben Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $9,362,000. Funds will be used to serve 318 consumers, build and improve 121 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $706,050 in smart grid projects.

Oklahoma

  • Northwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $18,306,000. Funds will be used to serve 912 customers, build and improve 134 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $843,400 in smart grid projects.

South Carolina

  • Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. – $44,347,000. Funds will be used to build 77 miles of new transmission line.

South Dakota/Minnesota

  • East River Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. – $62,207,000. Funds will be used to build 44 miles of transmission line, three new substations, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $3,951,000 in smart grid projects.

South Dakota/Iowa/Minnesota

  • Sioux Valley – Southwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc – $39,098,000. Funds will be used to serve over 1,400 consumers, build and improve 618 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $3,585,806 in smart grid projects.

South Dakota/Montana/North Dakota

  • Grand Electric Cooperative, Inc. –$14,164,000. Funds will be used to serve 153 consumers, build and improve 185 miles of distribution line and 1 mile of transmission line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $1,480,903 in smart grid projects.

Texas

  • Comanche County Electric Cooperative Association – $18,469,000. Funds will be used to serve 1,068 customers, build and improve 143 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $6,551,790 in smart grid projects.

Virginia

  • Southside Electric Cooperative – $44,881,000. Funds will be used to serve 1,460 customers, build and improve over 700 miles of distribution line and 9 miles of transmission line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $7,352,881 in smart grid projects.

Funding is provided by USDA Rural Development's Rural Utilities Service (RUS). The loans help electric utilities upgrade, expand, maintain and replace rural America's electric infrastructure. USDA Rural Development also supports energy conservation and renewable energy projects.

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy and strengthening small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).


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Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action Wednesday, August 8, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Erin Wilson   
Friday, 10 August 2012 07:11

CHICAGO –August 8, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bill:

 

 

Bill No.: SB 3597

An Act Concerning: Public Employee Benefits

Establishes a policy for Chicago Public Schools which allows retired teachers to return to work on a temporary basis without losing their pensions.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately

 

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Keep the Light Shining on What's Happening in Washington PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Rep. Bobby Schilling   
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 08:52
Last week I joined 264 of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle in voting against a resolution to adjourn the House for the August district work period.  Public service is about serving the people.  While the House has acted to prevent tax increases on all Americans, expand energy production here at home, and reduce regulatory burdens on small businesses, our work for you is not done.  We need the Senate to get moving on these priorities.

Friday we learned that unemployment in July rose to 8.3 percent, and has now been above 8 percent for a record 42 straight months.  Too many folks are out of work and the Senate continues to sit on more than 30 House-passed jobs bills.  We need to provide a stable tax rate and reduce regulations so our job creators feel a sense of certainty.  Also, farmers and producers across the United States need a five-year Farm Bill that provides certainty, cuts spending, and gives them the tools they need to do what they do best:  feed our country.  

Another issue important to our region that remains unresolved is Thomson Prison.  Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-02) and I are working together to develop a bipartisan path to open Thomson Correctional Facility as a federal maximum security prison.  This isn’t a new issue – it’s been around for 10 years.  Neither Republicans nor Democrats were able to solve it when they held both the White House and Congress.  Despite recent disappointing setbacks, we remain focused on the economic realities in Illinois and Iowa, and our constituents’ need for good jobs.  

Back in 2009, President Barack Obama attempted to order the federal government to acquire Thomson to house Guantanamo detainees. However, it is the bipartisan position of Congress that Thomson not be used to house terrorist prisoners and the House Armed Services Committee, on which Congressman Loebsack and I both sit, has barred transfer of detainees to the United States.  That debate doesn’t change the fact that the federal prison system is overburdened and that our region is missing out on what could be a significant job creation and economic development tool.  Put simply, that debate should not stop the purchase of Thomson for use as a federal prison system for federal prisoners.

Opening Thomson as a federal maximum security prison could have a positive impact on our entire region.  The operation of Thomson would bring good jobs to both Illinois and Iowa, potentially creating up to 1,100 jobs in our region.  It would boost the surrounding economy with expenditures over $122 million per year, and is expected to bring approximately $19 million in labor income and $61 million in business sales locally.  Total annual local economic impact, both direct and indirect, is expected to be at least $202 million.  As it stands right now, Illinois taxpayer dollars are going towards maintaining an empty prison.

 Do you support my legislation that seeks to keep Congress in Washington to tackle the big issues (budget, jobs, farm bill) before they are allowed to go home? 
  • Yes
  • No
  • Unsure
Do you agree that it's past time to get to work and open Thomson Prison?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Unsure

Click here to let me know your thoughts.
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After this week, I will be prohibited from sending out communications to folks who haven't subscribed to my regular updates during the pre-election “black out” period.  To ensure you aren’t left in the dark, I encourage you to sign up for my regular e-newsletters by clicking here.  If you have ideas on how to improve our e-newsletters and outreach, feel free to email me and share your ideas.

It is an honor to serve you in Washington, and I value your engagement and input.  Don’t hesitate to contact me if I can answer questions or help you in any way.  I encourage you to visit my Facebook and Twitter pages for other ways to stay up to date with what I’m doing in Washington and in our neighborhood, or to share your thoughts.

Thank you for placing your trust in me.  It is an honor to serve you.

Sincerely,
Bobby Schilling
Member of Congress
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Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action Tuesday, August 7, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Erin Wilson   
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 08:46

CHICAGO – August 7, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bills:

 

Bill No.: HB 4573

An Act Concerning: Regulation

Provides for the regulation of CO2 pipelines to be under the jurisdiction of the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration of the federal Department of Transportation, instead of the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately

 

Bill No.: HB 4819

An Act Concerning: Wildlife

Amends the Wildlife Code to permit all individuals to use a crossbow during the second half of archery deer hunting season.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately

 

Bill No.: SB 3047

An Act Concerning: Transportation

Allows a municipality that is part of a road district in a county that is not under township organization to organize into a separate road district.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately

 
Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action Monday August 6, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Erin Wilson   
Tuesday, 07 August 2012 08:32

CHICAGO – August 6, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bills:

 

Bill No.: SB 820

An Act Concerning: Children

Changes the composition of the Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention by increasing the number of members and adding specified advocacy organizations as members.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Immediately

 

Bill No.: SB 2847

An Act Concerning: Employment

Amends the Equal Pay Act of 2003 to impose personal liability on officers of a corporation or agents of an employer who willfully and knowingly evade payment of a final judgment or final award.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Jan. 1

 

Bill No.: SB 2869

An Act Concerning: Certain Court Orders

Requires counties to notify the Department of Corrections when an order of protection, a civil no contact order or a stalking no contact order is entered against an individual who is committed to the department, who is on parole or mandatory supervised release.

Action: Signed

Effective Date: Jan. 1

 

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