From WILL - News Headlines -

Mattoon Gets Large Federal Grant from Dept of Ag

Mattoon, Ill. is getting a boost from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said his department is giving the Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative in Mattoon a $740,000 loan and a $100,000 grant to provide financing that will be used to renovate and modernize the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center.

"Strengthening the hospital will make it easier for economic development officials in Illinois to be able to attract business and industry to that area because they know that workers who may get injured or family members who need hospital care will be able to get hospital care," Vilsack said.

Vilsack said it is important to prevent residents from having to travel long distances to get the care they need. He added that the Mattoon project will create 17 new jobs and retain more than 1,600 by preventing hospital closure.

Vilsack said a nationwide package supporting sixteen rural development projects in ten states will leverage 15 private dollars for every public dollar spent.

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