WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development program has awarded a $15,500,000 Electric Loan to Consolidated Electric Cooperative in Mount Gilead, an energy provider serving approximately 16,000 homes and businesses in Delaware, Franklin, Knox, Licking Marion, Morrow, Richland, and Union Counties. Consolidated Electric Cooperative will use the funds to improve electric service delivery by building or improving 99 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines, and making other necessary improvements. The loan includes $1,327,110 for smart grid projects.

“This is great news for consumers in north-central Ohio,” Brown said. “This type of investment is critical for the region’s economic competiveness and will continue to ensure safe, affordable service for all area residents and businesses. Rural co-ops have and will continue to play a critical role in our state.”

Brown is the first Ohioan to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 50 years. In 2014, he was part of the Senate Farm Bill Conference Committee that successfully negotiated a five-year farm bill. Brown supported a strong Rural Development title in the 2014 Farm Bill to encourage economic development and increased infrastructure investment in rural communities.

Loan Recipient Consolidated Electric Cooperative Serves Delaware, Franklin, Knox, Licking Marion, Morrow, Richland, and Union Counties

Staff report