USDA announces grant funding planDe Smet will use money for fire engine.
By: Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic
DE SMET — The De Smet Volunteer Fire Department will use a $100,000 federal grant provided to a local electric co-op to buy a new fire engine.
The awarding of the grant was announced Thursday U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary of Rural Development Dallas Tonsager, a South Dakota native.
“(The fire truck) will be a critical piece of equipment that the community couldn’t ordinarily find the funds for in this case,” Tonsager said Thursday during a teleconference with reporters.
The USDA will provide the $100,000 to the Kingsbury Electric Cooperative, located in De Smet, which will in turn provide the funding to the fire department.
Including the grant to Kingsbury Electric Cooperative, Tonsager announced the USDA will provide 21 loans and grants to support job creation efforts and economic development in 12 states: Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee.
Another goal, Tonsager said, is to encourage businesses to work with their local electric co-ops.
The funds were set aside by Congress “to make sure these utility companies have the opportunity to provide economic development.”
As a native of Oldham, located southeast of De Smet, Tonsager said he knows how integral job creation and economic development is to keeping rural communities alive.
The USDA will invest nearly $13 million through this program to spur economic development and job creation, Tonsager said.