I had the pleasure of joining USDA Under Secretary Tonsager, Senator Kent Conrad, Senator Byron Dorgan and Congressman Earl Pomeroy in the ground-breaking of a new regional medical center in Jamestown, North Dakota. This project is a direct result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that President Obama signed into law in February.
Through ARRA funds, our office provided $31 million to the Jamestown Hospital project and another $15 million guaranteed loan brought our total financing to $46 million. Needless to say, the community of Jamestown is incredibly excited about their new medical facility.
The current hospital was built in 1935 and has issues of air quality, privacy and security. The USDA Rural Development financed hospital will be a state of the art medical facility that will not only serve Jamestown, but a large geographic region in east-central North Dakota.
This hospital project is the largest funding ever financed by USDA in North Dakota, and one of the larger projects ever across the country. This project came together thanks to the community of Jamestown’s vision for a better tomorrow, the expertise from our team and the leadership of the Obama administration. The new hospital is scheduled to open in 2011 and is consistent with President Obama’s vision of building Rural America and delivering top-quality health care. I was happy to play a role in an investment that will pay huge dividends for many generations of North Dakotans to come.
One of those attending the groundbreaking, in addition to the dignitaries mentioned above, was student reporter Jackie Engdahl, a senior at Jamestown High School. She interviewed Under Secretary Tonsager concerning the hospital project.