Co-ops help secure funding for Park Rapids senior living facility

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

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By: Great River Energy staff

One of the ways electric cooperatives demonstrate their commitment to the communities they serve is by providing loans to businesses looking to start or expand in the rural areas where cooperatives are found.

The United States Department of Agriculture has designated a loan program specifically for these types of projects: The Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program exists to fund rural projects through local utility organizations.

A recent example of this loan in action is Park Rapids, Minn.-based Itasca-Mantrap Cooperative Electrical Association (I-M) providing a $1.36 million zero-interest loan to KI Developers to construct the Crystal Brook Senior Living Community, which opened its doors in November. This new facility will be operated by Knute Nelson out of Alexandria, Minn.

“This is a great way for Itasca-Mantrap to serve our community at no cost to our members,” said Christine Fox, I-M president and CEO. “The USDA and Great River Energy allow us to serve as intermediaries in this loan process.”

In addition, Great River Energy – I-M’s wholesale power provider – provided KI Developers a $350,000 zero-interest loan through its E3 Loan program, which exists to facilitate the installation of high efficiency equipment for commercial and industrial members.

Great River Energy’s economic development services team worked closely with I-M, KI Developers, Knute Nelson and Bremer Bank, the lead lender. The team also helped facilitate the loan application, approval and closing processes for the three economic development loans that totaled $1.71 million.

“Itasca-Mantrap first approached us to assist on this project in September 2016,” said Jeff Borling, economic development lead at Great River Energy. “This is an example of how good projects take time – economic development is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Crystal Brook Senior Living Community is an “aging in place” housing model also known as a “hybrid senior lifestyle model.” This style of living allows residents to start in senior apartments and add services as needed without needing to move to a new area of the building.

“We are thrilled to make Crystal Brook Senior Living a reality for the Park Rapids Community. Our desire is to ensure that we, as a senior provider, are able to meet the growing demand for our communities where we serve,” said Mark Anderson, president and CEO for Knute Nelson. “By expanding our mission and service offerings in the Park Rapids area, and our continuum of care offerings, we are able to do even more for the community.”

Category: economic development