“We don’t want Tama County to miss this window of opportunity,” that was the bottom line of the message Brandon Shaw, Tama County’s USDA Community Development Specialist, shared with a group of Tama County leaders last night. He explained that USDA currently has a record high amount of funding to allocate for grants and loans to help cities, nonprofits, businesses and home owners of rural counties, and this money may not be available next year.
The Economic Development Round Table at the Garwin Community Center focused on USDA’s Community Development grants and loan resources. Each town’s eligibility is based on the 2000 Census median household income (MHI) in relation to Iowa’s nonmetropolitan MHI of $39,981:
75% grant eligibility for Lincoln (MHI: $18,011)
55% grant eligibility for Clutier (MHI: $27,344)
35% grant eligibility for Chelsea (MHI: $30,625)
15% grant eligibility for Toledo (MHI: $33,750)
15% grant eligibility for Vining (MHI: $34,378)
15% grant eligibility for Traer (MHI: $35,329)
15% grant eligibility for Tama (MHI: $35,531)
Median household incomes in 2000 based on this specific rubric were too high in Dysart, Elberon, Garwin, Gladbrook, and Montour to qualify for the grant portion. Low interest direct and guaranteed loans may still be a consideration. Numbers are subject to change after the 2010 Census. For more info contact Brandon Shaw (641) 648-5181 or email: brandon.shaw[at]usda.gov.