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USDA Helps Xenia Rural Water District in Iowa Find a Path to Financial Viability

Pictured in Minburn, Iowa, are John Padalino and Deb Lucht, general manager, Minburn Communications.  USDA recently helped finance a telecommunications upgrade in Minburn.  Minburn Communications also announced last month that it would be Iowa’s third Village Post Office, a partnership program with the U.S. Postal Service to assist communities facing a reduction in hours at their local post office. Minburn’s post office is now open only four hours a day. Customers with basic postal needs can visit Minburn Communications nine hours a day for assistance. USDA Photo.

Pictured in Minburn, Iowa, are John Padalino and Deb Lucht, general manager, Minburn Communications. USDA recently helped finance a telecommunications upgrade in Minburn. Minburn Communications also announced last month that it would be Iowa’s third Village Post Office, a partnership program with the U.S. Postal Service to assist communities facing a reduction in hours at their local post office. Minburn’s post office is now open only four hours a day. Customers with basic postal needs can visit Minburn Communications nine hours a day for assistance. USDA Photo.

USDA Rural Development and Iowa’s Xenia Rural Water District earlier this spring announced an agreement that will set the rural water utility on a path to financial viability, while continuing to provide clean water for its 9,400 customers in 11 counties in central and north central Iowa.

During the last three-and-a-half years, USDA worked closely with Xenia in an effort to improve its operations, address financial shortfalls and ensure access to clean water for its rural customers.

Earlier this week, USDA Utilities Administrator John Padalino had an opportunity to meet with Xenia’s board of directors as part of a three-day tour throughout rural Iowa visiting with local businesses and organizations about opportunities for expanding rural economic activities.

We are hopeful that Xenia can continue on its path to financial stability, sound management and good operations.  Those three pillars are the keys to their success.  Thanks to the American people and the leadership of Secretary Vilsack, Xenia Rural Water District was able to restructure its debt and improve its future.

We applaud the dedication and hard team work involved in the development of a successful solution for all parties that kept the system operational.

USDA Rural Development’s focus has been, and continues to be, the continuation of service for those who live and work in the rural communities that Xenia serves.

After the Xenia meeting Administrator Padalino went to Minburn, a community of 400 in rural Dallas County. A main topic with community and business leaders was the benefits of a recently completed fiber-to-the-home broadband project that was funded, in part, by USDA Rural Development.

Broadband has changed the way all Americans live, especially those in our rural communities and areas. Rural Iowa will remain vibrant and prosperous as Minburn Communications and others stay focused on innovation and infrastructure development. Access to broadband is one of the keys to a successful rural America.

Also, last year USDA Rural Development awarded a loan and grant to the City of Minburn to help with a new wastewater system in the community to install grinder pumps at each residence, running new collection lines throughout the community and construction of an additional cell at the treatment lagoon.

Safe drinking water, reliable and affordable electricity and robust broadband are the keys to economic development in rural areas.  The City of Minburn is a shining example.

Administrator Padalino’s trip to Iowa concluded with meetings with the Iowa Area Development Group to discuss ways it can continue to work with USDA to help promote economic activities through the state’s network of rural electric cooperatives. He also visited the Corn Belt Power Cooperative in Humboldt. Corn Belt Power Cooperative serves farms, rural residents, small towns, businesses and industries in 41 northern Iowa counties.

To learn more about how USDA programs can assist your rural community click here.

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