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USDA awards $750K loan to Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council

Funds available to Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council

USDA Rural Development State Director Kris Warner, left, presents a certificate representing the award of $750,000 in loan funds for the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council to agency Executive Director Carol Jackson, center, and board Chairman Eric Peters on Tuesday at the council offices in Parkersburg. Photo by Evan Bevins

PARKERSBURG — The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday announced the award of $750,000 to allow the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council to continue making loans to area businesses and development projects.

“This is our fourth award since we started our partnership with the council in 2013,” USDA Rural Development State Director Kris Warner said during a stop at the MOVRC offices at 709 Market St., Parkersburg, Tuesday. “They do this better than anyone else in the state of West Virginia.”

The funds will go to an intermediary relending program the council has had in place for more than 30 years, MOVRC board Chairman Eric Peters said. In that time, they’ve provided more than $12 million to 14 counties, starting with the council’s service area of Calhoun, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt and Wood counties. Over the years, the loan program expanded to also serve Barbour, Pocahontas, Randolph, Upshot, Webster and Wetzel counties.

MOVRC Executive Director Carol Jackson said the governmental planning and development agency doesn’t usually divulge its loan recipients but they have included manufacturing and service businesses such as restaurants and hairdressers. Loans can be used to help businesses with startup costs or to build, repair or expand a facility, particularly when jobs will be created or retained, according to the USDA.

The regional council has also made loans to public service districts and other public entities, Jackson said.

A recent loan was issued to help with emergency repairs of a landslide, she said.

“Getting grant money sometimes takes several months,” Jackson said.

Peters noted the Benedum Foundation provided a $187,500 local match for the funding.

Warner said loans provided through the program help build stronger and healthier communities.

“We know when rural West Virginia thrives, all of America thrives,” he said.

Also on Tuesday, USDA announced a $13,600 Community Facilities Economic Impact Initiative Grant to purchase a new four-wheel drive police cruiser for the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Department. It will replace a cruiser that has high mileage and rising maintenance costs.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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