August 14, 2008

USDA Rural Development Provides $740,000 Loan to Scotland County R-1 School District

Morris Westfall, Missouri State Director for USDA, Rural Development, presented a $740,000 mock check to George Koontz, President of the Scotland County R-1 School Board, and to Dave Shalley, Superintendent, during a ceremony at the Tri-County Electric Cooperative annual meeting August 7, 2008.

The Rural Development funds were part of a Rural Economic Development loan made to Tri-County Electric Association. Working through David Ramsey, General Manager of Tri-County Electric, the electric association served as an intermediary and the loan was passed on to an eligible entity for business expansion, community development, business incubator project or a medical or educational projects. In this case, the Scotland County School was the ultimate beneficiary.

The $740,000 was used to fund a portion of the $1.8 million new geothermal heating and cooling system, energy-efficient lighting system upgrade and improvements to the kitchen and water system for the school district buildings.

Ramsey said, “Tri-County Electric is pleased to be able to help the Scotland County schools with this zero-interest pass through loan to fund their energy efficiency improvements. These improvements will lower the energy costs for the school and make for a better learning environment for the children. A Commitment to Community is one of the core values that Tri-County follows as a Touchstone Energy Partner and this project shows our commitment to helping communities in our area grow and prosper.”

Shalley said, “We feel very fortunate to obtain this loan. This allows us the opportunity to make improvements to our district that will save money through efficient energy consumption, also providing a comfortable environment for student learning.”

Rural Development is pleased to be a partner in financing the improvements to the Scotland County School,” said Westfall. “This project mirrors USDA Rural Development’s mission and President Bush’s initiative of being committed to the future of rural communities. I want to personally thank everyone that has worked together to make this project a reality and particularly the Tri-County Electric Cooperative Association. Special thanks are extended to our federal elected officials for making available the federal funds for funding these kinds of projects to help improve the education infrastructure of our rural schools.

Anyone seeking more information about this Rural Economic Development program or any other USDA Rural Development programs may visit the homepage at or by contacting the Kirksville Area Office at 2410 S. Franklin Street, Kirksville MO 63501 or by calling (660) 665-3274 Extension # 4.

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