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Money flows into Huerfano

by David Tesitor
HUERFANO- Colorado Rural Development director Jim Isgar was in Walsenburg and La Veta last Thursday distributing money to local enterprises as part of the United States Department of Agriculture economic program to help rural communities with their economic development plans.
His first stop was at the nearly completed Huerfano RE-1 sports complex where he presented a $25,000 grant to representatives of the school district. He also took the time to speak with five students about returning to smaller communities after they go to college. Isgar said, “These rural communities have so much to offer, and it is important for our younger people to give back to the places where they were raised.”
The money was part of a community grant given to the district to complete the concrete padding for the 1500-seat grandstand, slated for installation during the week of September 18. Isgar also stated, “With funding opportunities becoming sparse, more collaboration among agencies is needed to get the job done and this project is an example of that.” The Colorado Department of Local affairs, Huerfano Parks and Recreation and the Great Colorado Outdoors are other agencies helping in the project. This was the second grant given to the school by the USDA.
Isgar was also in La Veta where he presented a check for $ 720,000 to representatives of San Isabel Electric to help create a new zip line at the Cuchara Mountain Resort. The money was a loan. Isgar said, “These loans help cooperatives and utilities support local projects that create jobs and improve rural economic conditions.”
The goal of the USDA loan programs is to help create jobs, upgrade public infrastructure, improve service delivery and improve the quality of life. San Isabel hopes to create 30 jobs in the county through this expansion.
The Rural Development program also has been working with the city on the sewer project at Northlands and with the Fox Youth Theater. Colorado Rural Development is an agency of the USDA, which directs guaranteed loans and grants for needed community facilities. The agency supports projects which improve the basic quality of life and increase the competitiveness of rural communities in attracting and retaining businesses.

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