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Recovery Act-Funded Senior Care Center Headlines Rural Development Earth Day Projects in Minnesota

Pioneer Care has provided quality senior care services in Fergus Falls, Minn. since 1928. That tradition will continue thanks to a new 105-bed facility that celebrated its grand opening on April 15 as part of USDA Rural Development’s annual Earth Day celebration.

Rural Development financed the construction of the new 105-bed facility with over $21 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds through its direct and guaranteed community facilities loan program. Over $2 million was raised through a private capital campaign.

Not only does this project create and save jobs in the region, it also improves access to quality health care and features several environmentally-friendly features. These include storm water management ponds used for site irrigation, natural lighting, a 60 percent reduction in air filtration, the use of recycled materials during construction, and improved roofing and insulation to reduce heating and cooling costs.

“We at Pioneer appreciate the support from all of you,” CEO John Richards told a crowd of about 1,000 for the grand opening. “This facility was designed so that residents can truly call this home.”

Cutting the ribbon on the PioneerCare facility in Fergus Falls, Minn. The 105-bed senior care center was financed with over $21 million in Recovery Act loans.

Cutting the ribbon on the PioneerCare facility in Fergus Falls, Minn. The 105-bed senior care center was financed with over $21 million in Recovery Act loans.

Rural Development also celebrated Earth Day by highlighting water and wastewater projects in Wendell and Ashby, Minn. The city of Wendell is unable to meet the primary drinking water standard for arsenic mandated by the Department of Health. Funds provided by Rural Development will finance the construction of a packaged water treatment facility that meets Department of Health standards and requirements. Funds will also go toward the installation of water meters, allowing the city to improve its billing and measurement. “This project fixes a problem that we have been working to solve for a while now,” Wendell mayor Bob Aune said. “Our community is going to be a cleaner once it’s finished.

A third project inspired by Earth Day is funding for the replacement of an old wastewater collection system, as well as upgrading a pump station to eliminate infiltration issues in Ashby. The new wastewater treatment system will prevent the bypass of untreated wastewater and help regulate pollution control in the city and its surrounding environment.

“We’re grateful for the funding provided by Rural Development,” Ashby mayor Tom Grover said. “This project will benefit businesses and residents and will improve the community as a whole.”

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