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Beltrami Electric gets infrastructure grant

WALKER - Beltrami Electric Cooperative Inc. will receive a $195,108 grant through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program to help fund infrastructure improvements for the City of Walker's Industrial Park.

Walker has agreed to accept a 10-year, zero percent interest loan for approximately $244,000 from Beltrami Electric's newly established Revolving Loan Fund to help with the expansion of a sanitary sewer system to the city's industrial park.

Beltrami Electric provides electricity to half the park and would benefit from the addition of new, and the retention of current tenants, according to a news release.

Projections show that this expansion could create nearly 350 new jobs in the Walker area by the year 2020, the release said.

"We are thrilled that the City of Walker is the first recipient of these funds from our Revolving Loan Fund," said Beltrami Electric CEO/GM Lynette Nieuwsma. "We believe that economic development in our region is very important, as it creates jobs and brings growth to the communities we serve. In the future, our RLF will give local organizations the opportunity to expand or enhance their presence in the area, creating jobs and stimulating the area economy."

Beltrami Electric Cooperative is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative in Bemidji. Established in 1940, Beltrami Electric provides power to almost 17,000 member-owners within a 3,000-square-mile service area.