In fiscal year 2004, USDA Rural Development had a successful year delivering $78.6 million in program dollars to the citizens of rural North Dakota, not including program dollars delivered by Rural Utilities Program’s electric and telecommunications general field representatives.

The Community Development Program assisted the two REAP (Rural Economic Area Partnership) Zones with approximately fifteen projects during 2004. This assistance generated four successful funding applications from Rural Development totaling $25,343,300 million in total project dollars. The Community Development staff also assisted the Champion Communities and generated two successful funding applications totaling $112,990 in total project dollars.

The Community Development staff assisted the Griggs-Steele Empowerment Zone with board member development, compliance to Rural Development and Federal regulations, and strategic plan updating. Community Development teamed up with the REAP Investment Board and the Griggs-Steele EZ to provide two community development training sessions for rural developers located in the designated areas.

The Rural Business Cooperative (RBC) and Rural Utility (RU) area approved a record level of obligations of $50,181,087 combined between 51 loans and grants in 2004, which is a 17% increase from 2003. This also involved the leveraging of funds amounting to $67,754,347 for total fiscal development of $117,935,934. USDA-RD continues to focus on rural entrepreneurship by coordinating financial packages with the state owned Bank of ND, SBA, ND Department of Commerce, and Dakota Certified Corp, through the Entrepreneur Centers of ND , as well as providing financial resources to the Ag Products Utilization Commission, Dakota’s Enterprise Center and the Center for Innovation at UND.

The Rural Housing Program provided ninety three direct loans totaling $5,563,602 and two hundred two guaranteed loans totaling $13,169,570. Seventy six grants were made totaling $440,806 and forty four 504 loans were made totaling $191,576. Three housing preservation grants, totaling $142,720 will assist two Indian reservations and the REAP Zone to address housing rehabilitation needs.

The Community Facilities Program obligated $4,630,000 between thirteen projects, including three pre-development grants to assist critical health facilities in our state. Tribal Colleges received $1,108,682 from the Tribal College Community Facilities Grant initiative. Community Facilities Grants totaled $709,318 along with loan and loan guarantees totaling $2,812,000. The Multi-family Housing program provided 5 rehabilitation loans and one new construction loan for a total of $1,318,000.