Rock Rapids, Iowa — Some equipment at the new Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital – Avera being built in Rock Rapids is being funded with some assistance from an entity that you may not expect — Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities.

Jim Hoye, who is the manager of Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities tells us about it.

The “REDLEG” program that Hoye refers to is the United States Departement of Agriculture’s Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant program, which is known as USDA’s REDLEG program.

Hoye tells us that the total cost of the machine is in the neighborhood of $490,000. He says they are assisting with a loan for $360,000 of that, with $300,000 coming from the USDA and $60,000 from Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities. The financing of the remaining $130,000 would be up to the hospital, says Hoye. He tells us more.

Hoye tells us where the idea came from that the Utilities would assist with this loan.

He says the money will be able to assist Rock Rapids over and over again.

Hoye says the money is lent out at zero percent interest for ten years. He says they recommend that other communities also look into the USDA REDLEG program.

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