Assistance to High Energy Cost Rural Communities
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces the availability of $19.5 million in competitive grants to assist communities with extremely high energy costs. This grant program is authorized under section 19 of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 (RE Act) (7 U.S.C. 918a) and program regulations at 7 CFR Part 1709. The grant funds may be used to acquire, construct, extend, upgrade, or otherwise improve energy generation, transmission, or distribution facilities serving communities in which the average residential expenditure for home energy exceeds 275 percent of the national average. Eligible applicants include persons, States, political subdivisions of States, and other entities organized under State law. Federally-recognized Indian tribes and tribal entities are eligible applicants. This notice describes the eligibility and application requirements, the criteria that will be used by RUS to award funding, and information on how to obtain application materials.
Household Water Well System Grant Program
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) issues regulations to establish the Household Water Well System (HWWS) Program. This action establishes a grant program as authorized by Section 306E of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONACT). The HWWS Program will provide grants to private non-profit organizations, which, in turn, will use the funds to set up a loan program, making loans to eligible individuals for household water well systems. Eligible individuals may use the loans to construct, refurbish, and service individual household water well systems that they own or will own in rural areas. Additionally, the rule outlines the process by which applicants can apply for the program and describes how RUS will administer the grant program.
Accounting Requirements for RUS Telecommunications Borrowers
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency delivering the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Programs, is amending its regulations on accounting policies and procedures for RUS Telecommunications Borrowers as set forth in RUS's regulations concerning Accounting System Requirements for RUS Telecommunications Borrowers. This final rule adopts some recent accounting changes made by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). These changes include increasing the expense limit for some assets excluding personal computers, allowing tools and test equipment located in the central office to be expensed under the new limitation. This final rule affirms the use of Class A accounts by RUS borrowers; maintains the expense matrix requirements; maintains the requirement that borrowers request prior approval to record extraordinary items, prior period adjustments, and contingent liabilities; establishes policies and procedures to permit RUS borrowers to follow Prudent Utility Practice regarding the storage and retention of business records; and eliminates certain Telecommunications Plant Under Construction accounts. This final rule also adds three new accounting interpretations on Allowance for Funds Used During Construction, Reporting Comprehensive Income, and Disclosures About Pensions and Other Postretirement Benefits.
Georgia Transmission Corporation; Notice of Intent
Notice is hereby given that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency delivering the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Programs, proposes to prepare an Environmental Assessment related to possible financing assistance to Georgia Transmission Corporation for the construction of approximately 40 miles of 500 kilovolt transmission line. The proposed 500-kilovolt transmission line project would be located in McDuffie, Warren, Hancock, Glascock and Washington Counties, Georgia. Meeting Information: RUS will conduct a Scoping Meeting in an open house format from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24, 2005, at the Warthen Community Center, Warthen, Georgia 31094. Phone: (770) 270- 7741. The Community Center is on Bethlehem Baptist Church Road, located on State Route 102 approximately .25 miles north of the intersection of State Route 15. A second Scoping Meeting will be held from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24, 2005. The meeting will be held at Thomson High School, located at 1160 White Oak Road in Thomson, Georgia 30824. Phone: (706) 595-9393. The purpose of these two meetings are provide information and solicit comments.