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Posted: Jun 12, 2009  11:46

Minnick Announces $9.75 Million to Create Jobs in Rural Idaho

      Senior Advisor/Director of Communications

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Agriculture will invest millions into four programs to help keep and create jobs in southern and central Idaho communities hit hard by the economic recession.

Congressman Walt Minnick announced funding for the Idaho projects today after receiving confirmation from the White House. The projects will be funded wit money from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

"I voted against the stimulus package, but I promised to do whatever I could to help Idaho," Minnick said. "I am pleased to see that the Department of agriculture listened to our concerns and requests that rural Idaho get some much-need help. These projects are exactly the kinds of investments we need to put Idahoans back to work."

The projects include:

  • In Adams County, Evergreen Forest Products will receive an estimated $2.5 million for the installations of a dry kiln at a local sawmill, this keeping dozens of much-needed jobs in the area.

  • In Gem County, a plant will receive $4 million to help complete construction at a sawmill and showings plants.

  • In Boise County, the Garden Valley school system will receive $3 million for conversion of the school's heating system to a biomass-fueled plant.

  • In Ada County, Treasure valley Forest Products will receive $250,000 for establishment of a wood-pellet mill.

The projects were selected specifically for their wood-to-energy or biomass utilization potential. According to the Department of Agriculture, the work will result in increased value of biomass generated during forest restoration projects, the removal of economic barriers to using small diameter trees and woody biomass, and generation of renewable energy from woody biomass.

"I spent nearly two decades in the forest-projects industry, where I learned that smart management of our public lands and an emphasis on forest health were key to keeping Idaho's economy strong," Minnick said. "We need to get our forests working again as we move toward a new energy future for this nation, and the finding of these Idaho projects is a step in the right direction."


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