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CEDA receives rural development grant

Six Idaho County communities have opted to receive training thanks to a federal grant awarded to Clearwater Economic Development Association. Grangeville, Cottonwood, Kooskia, Riggins, Stites and White Bird are among nine rural communities selected for the economic development project.

CEDA will receive $75,000 in grant funding to be matched with $75,000 in local cash. Funding allows CEDA to provide technical assistance to communities in the development and update of comprehensive plans. It also will provide training to elected officials on economic and community development concepts.

Funding will be used to implement a project titled: “Leading with Intention: North Central Idaho Economic Development Training and Community Planning Assistance.” Other communities in the project are Juliaetta, Nezperce and Winchester.

CEDA Executive Director Christine Frei said training should begin in May or June of 2017. CEDA will start with four or five communities next year and the remainder will receive training in 2018.

The program, she said, involves eight, 15- to 20-minute sessions with the city council. Discussion will cover basic economic development concepts and the role of elected officials.

“The communities will receive training and technical assistance on comprehensive plan development: what are the requirements and where do you access the information,” Frei said.

All nine communities were selected based on a rural designation and were given the option of whether to participate or not. CEDA covers the $75,000 match in the grant. Frei said, under a separate contract, CEDA can assist each community when it opts to write a comprehensive development plan.

CEDA serves five North Central Idaho counties in planning, development and implementation of business and community projects to improve the economy. It is designated as an economic development district by the federal Economic Development Administration. 

The money, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is part of $7.6 million in grants to support projects intended to grow opportunity in rural America. The USDA Rural Development Grants offer job training and economic development.

The federal grant supports communities in at least 24 states. This investment marks the latest effort at USDA to support the rural economy, which the latest Census data shows is rebounding.

Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested nearly $13 billion to start or expand nearly 112,000 rural businesses; helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes; funded nearly 9,200 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses. USDA also has invested $31.3 billion in 963 electric projects that have financed more than 185,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines serving 4.6 million rural residents. For more information, visit


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