July 23, 2009

McLean Electric Cooperative charges up St. Alexius funds

By Matt Hopper

St. Alexius Washburn Family Clinic was the initial recipient of a newly established revolving loan fund program. The McLean Electric Cooperative acquired the funding for the clinic’s use that totals $200,000. Group representatives gathered at the Washburn Family Clinic July 15 for the check’s presentation. Executives from St. Alexius, McLean Electric and the USDA Rural Development posed for the cameras and spoke a few words about the importance of the revolving loan fund to rural communities. Patients showing up that day had something extra to smile about, knowing that the funds would benefit their community. Funding will go towards paying off prior renovations made to the clinic’s Washburn location. Originally, part of the building was from a St. Alexius location in Steele that closed. It then merged with Washburn’s location to make up the current Family Clinic. Funding also helped to set up a new electronic medical files system for current and future patients. Although a seemingly unorthodox moving situation, everyone involved with the project couldn’t be more optimistic. "For us it was really a no brainer," said General Manager of McLean Electric Cooperative Martin Dahl. "Being able to do good within this community, and doing something that really makes a difference makes us feel good. We’re proud to have been a part of this," said Dahl. The program’s purpose is to encourage rural electric and telecommunications utilities to promote rural economic development and job creation. Funding is available to a wide variety of businesses including community development assistance, education, job training or medical services, business incubators and technical assistance.

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