March 30, 2015

Cooperatives Work Together for $1.816 Million Loan for Hoxie Project

Midwest Energy and Western Cooperative Electric today announced the award of a $1.816 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Economic Loan and Grant (REDLG) Program, which will be used by BJKLM Development Company, LLC to fund the site development and building construction of a large implement dealership in Hoxie.  The dealership will be operated by BTI, and is expected to add 20-25 jobs to the Hoxie economy.

The loan, announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, was one of 38 loans and grants totaling $31 million announced Monday to support job creation efforts, business development and strengthen economic growth in rural communities in nine states.

Midwest Energy and Western Cooperative Electric each requested $908,000 from USDA, each essentially guaranteeing their half of the loan.  It marked the first time the two cooperatives have collaborated on a REDLG application, reflecting a new era of confidence in development of projects requiring larger sums for investment. 

“We’re pleased to partner with Western Cooperative, and we’re pleased for the growth that this project will bring for the residents of Hoxie and Sheridan County,” stated Earnie Lehman, President and General Manager at Midwest Energy, noting that Midwest Energy provides electricity to the city of Hoxie, while Western Cooperative serves the southern portion of Sheridan County.      

“Though the first collaboration between Western and Midwest on a REDLG application, this isn’t the first, and won’t be the last, time Western and Midwest work collaboratively on issues impacting their member-owners,” said Darrin Lynch, General Manager at Western Cooperative Electric.  “Concern for community is one of the seven cooperative principles by which we live.  As such, Western is honored to support this project, one that represents a step in the direction of forward progress and development for rural Kansas.”

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