Civic News & Info
Braley Announces $425,000 for Port Security in the Quad Cities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Kira Ayish   
Thursday, 25 August 2011 10:03

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) announced $425,000 in grant money for port security efforts in Bettendorf and Le Claire.

The Bettendorf Fire Department has been awarded $250,000 and Scott County has been awarded $175,000 to improve security and risk management at ports in Bettendorf and Le Claire.

“This grant money will help ensure the safety of the Quad Cities and other communities along the Mississippi,” Braley said. “The river is vital to Iowa’s economy and Iowa agriculture.  I’m committed to making sure our ports are secure, and today’s funding will help keep Iowa families and businesses safe.”

These federal grants are awarded through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and distributed through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

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USDA Official Meets Iowa Business Leaders to Discuss Collaborative Ways to Win Back the Future of Rural America PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Tuesday, 26 July 2011 13:51

CHARLES CITY, Iowa – July 26, 2011 – USDA Rural Utilities Service Administrator Jonathan Adelstein met with businesses leaders from north central Iowa today to discuss ways local communities and businesses can collaborate with state and federal agencies to help improve economic conditions and create jobs. The meeting today was part of a series of roundtables that are being held across the country this summer with senior Administration officials on behalf of the White House Business Council and White House Rural Council. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is the chair of the White House Rural Council.

"Today's roundtable was a tremendous opportunity for me to learn about the challenges local businesses owners are facing and what type of opportunities they see ahead," said Adelstein. "It was clear that creating new job opportunities is extremely important for rural Iowans. The federal government, through its various programs, is committed to helping improve economic opportunities in rural America."

In the last 10 years 66 of Iowa's 99 counties saw a population decline, with counties in north central Iowa facing some of the largest population losses of any area of the state. Floyd County, which includes Charles City, recorded a 3.5 percent population loss in the 2010 Census compared to 2000 figures. Of the eight counties surrounding Floyd County only one has managed to gain population since 2000.

White House Business Council members plan to host roundtables in at least 100 communities across the country by year-end. The purpose of these roundtables is to listen to local businesses and get feedback on how the Administration can best support their growth. It is also to make sure that local business leaders are taking advantage of the Administration resources and programs designed to help them create jobs and compete.

The meetings give an opportunity for government leaders to hear directly from business leaders around the country about their ideas on how to grow the economy. This exchange also is intended to educate business and community leaders about USDA programs and other the resources within the federal government to help them compete and expand.

In June, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the first White House Rural Council, chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The White House Rural Council will work throughout government to create policies to promote economic prosperity and a high quality of life in our rural communities.

Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken significant steps to improve the lives of rural Americans and has provided broad support for rural communities. The Obama Administration has set goals of modernizing infrastructure by providing broadband access to 10 million Americans, expanding educational opportunities for students in rural areas, and providing affordable health care. In the long term, these unparalleled rural investments will help ensure that America's rural communities are repopulating, self-sustaining and thriving economically.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $150 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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HUD AND NEIGHBORWORKS® AMERICA EXTEND DEADLINE FOR EMERGENCY HOMEOWNERS’ LOAN PROGRAM PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by HUD Public Affairs   
Tuesday, 26 July 2011 13:20

WASHINGTON Today the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and NeighborWorks® America announced that the deadline for the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program has been extended to Wednesday, July 27, 2011, in order to give homeowners at risk of foreclosure in the participating 27 states and Puerto Rico more time to apply for the program.

The Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP) will assist homeowners who have experienced a reduction in income and are at risk of foreclosure due to involuntary unemployment or underemployment, due to economic conditions or a medical condition.

Eligible homeowners can qualify for an interest free loan, which pays a portion of their monthly mortgage for up to two years, or up to $50,000, whichever comes first.

Homeowners are encouraged to visit www.FindEHLP.org to find contact information for participating agencies, the Pre-Applicant Screening Worksheet and more information on the EHLP assistance and its eligibility requirements.  Homeowners may also call the toll free hotline -- 855-FIND-EHLP (346-3345) – for this information as well.

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Harkin Announces More Than $6 Million for Community Development and Housing in Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Harkin Press Office   
Monday, 18 July 2011 10:40

WASHINGTON D.C.—Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced that $6,622,682 will go to housing development programs for five communities in Iowa. The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) and HOME awards. These programs provide financing, development and improvement to public housing projects throughout the country. Harkin is a senior member of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds HUD.

“Grants that HUD provide are vital for the growth and prosperity of our communities in Iowa,” Harkin said. “For those who are feeling the effects of these tough economic times, this funding creates opportunity for assistance to those in need to acquire quality, affordable housing.”

Details of the Funding are below.

$445,371—Ames (CDBG)
$1,187,806—Cedar Rapids (CDBG)
$454,799—Cedar Rapids (HOME)
$1,575,490—Davenport (CDBG)
$627,435—Davenport (HOME)
$1,739,510—Sioux City (CDBG)
$84,173—Sioux City (ESG)
$484,857—Sioux City (HOME)
$213,241—West Des Moines (CDBG)

 
Governor Quinn: State Working with Communities Following Storm to Ensure Public Safety PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Laurel White   
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 14:40

State Prepared to Assist Communities in Recovery From Major Power Outage

CHICAGO – July 12, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today said state emergency management officials are coordinating with communities affected by Monday’s violent wind storm to ensure they have the resources needed for public safety.

“Yesterday’s storm left hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without electricity,” said Governor Quinn. “Power crews are working around the clock to restore electricity, and we thank them for their diligent efforts. In the meantime, the state is prepared to step in and quickly provide any assistance communities need to ensure the safety of their residents.”

Gov. Quinn said staff from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) have been working closely with emergency management agencies in the affected areas since shortly after the storm to determine if state assistance is needed to protect public health and safety. That assistance includes heavy trucks, equipment and correctional inmates to assist with debris removal, generators, portable lights, law enforcement support and more.

In addition, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) is continuing to coordinate with ComEd to put a high priority on restoring power to critical facilities, such as nursing homes.

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