USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul and staff celebrated four Summer Recovery Tour projects last month, in three days and encompassing more than 900 miles. The success and impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment dollars in Nebraska were highlighted.
The first stop was in the community of O’Neill, at Garden Fresh Vegetables (GFV), LLC which received a nearly $4 million guaranteed Recovery Act loan. GFV will expand its business through the purchase of a 10 acre greenhouse in Gothenburg that is being relocated to the O’Neill site and will include a new propagation unit. GFV raises mainly tomatoes and cucumbers and is a supplier to the Lincoln, Omaha and Kansas City areas. GFV participates in the Farm to Schools program and provides tomatoes to five schools and anticipates selling to many more educational facilities.
Second stop was at the O’Neill City office where the plans for the future O’Neill Community Center were discussed. The Center received a $750,000 Recovery Act Community Facilities loan. The funds will help construct a 14 thousand square foot building for use as a community center. O’Neill presently lacks such a center and has a limited number of existing facilities in the community and surrounding area to hold large gatherings.
In western Nebraska’s Panhandle, stops three and four were at Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska (CAPWN) and Allo Communications. A presentation took place for
CAPWN of Gering, Neb. for a Recovery Act loan and grant to upgrade and expand facilities.
Due to the age of the CAPWN facilities and the growth in clients served, upgrades and expansion are needed to the Administration building, the health center and the warehouse. Two operatories, two exam rooms, and four offices will be added. Also, the parking lot where commodities are distributed is to be paved.
A ribbon cutting for Allo Communications of Imperial, Neb., in collaboration with the Scottsbluff Gering United Chamber, was held at the new Allo Store in Scottsbluff. The Allo Store provides customers the opportunity to see Allo’s products, including new FiberTV services and FiberPhone, FiberInternet, and telephone equipment offerings.
Allo received a $5.7 million Recovery Act loan that was guaranteed by Rural Development to increase infrastructure fiber and expand services primarily to residential customers in Scottsbluff, Gering, and Alliance and to expand to provide commercial services in Ogallala.
On our way home, a recognition ceremony was held in North Platte, Neb. to recognize Kevin Mulvey of North Platte and Gary McConnell (Mac’s Super Foods Inc.) of Wallace. Both secured the Rural Energy for America Program funding needed for their energy projects.