Community Development News

Young People in Kansas Taken Seriously

A Kansas state program called The Rural Opportunity Zone repays student loans over five years. It’s for those willing to relocate to 50 designated counties. Most of these counties are agricultural with roughly a 10 percent population decrease in the last census. The maximum benefit during this period is $15,000.

Benjamin Reeves of the International Business Times reports the program has detractors. He writes, “Generally conservative and small-government oriented, agricultural communities in this part of the Midwest tend to oppose the idea of handouts to outsiders.”

Washington Town Keeps Marching Forward (and Loudly!)

Census figures were just the thing to light a fire under the people of LaCrosse, Washington. At one time it boasted a population of 1,000. But now that number has plummeted to 310. This has resulted in limited resources and abandoned buildings and homes.

John Stucke of the Spokesman-Review was told by wheat farmer Randy Myklebust that, “This is not an impossible situation, but a situation full of possibility.” He recently bought an older home and is restoring it.

All in for Wind

This up close and personal look at the attachment points of wind turbine blades reveals the complexity of the technologies. Wind energy is one of the cleanest sources, and can be economical too. The key is to go “all in.” Source: Jamie Horter

Are you torn between supporting wind energy and lowering your electric bill? You may no longer have to choose. A new study predicts how wind energy can be cheaper than fossil fuels.

Wind energy is attractive for economic reasons. A robust wind industry could bring 30,000 jobs and $7 billion per year to Nebraska alone. But fear of higher prices has kept wind development grounded.

Wind produces some of the cleanest energy. Introducing greater levels of wind with smart system planning can decrease the annual market price relative to today. This means you would pay less for wind energy!

The key is to go “all in.” The savings accrue when healthy wind development is combined with transmission upgrades. Installing just a few turbines at a time will cost more – on average – than multiple developments. Wind energy, combined with energy efficiency and smart transmission planning, can bring you cheaper electricity.

Hometown Housing: The Burnet, Texas, Model

Small town Burnet, Texas, looks at economic development through a unique approach to housing. The city rebates 100% of water, sewer, and electric tap fees; building, plumbing, and electrical permit fees; HVAC unit fees; and plan review fees for home building. There’s a catch – rebates are available only for qualifying lots in a targeted area.

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