- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 6, 2014

GLADSTONE, Mich. (AP) - An Upper Peninsula utility cooperative will receive a $7 million loan from the federal government for improvements to 108 miles of electrical lines and other system upgrades.

The loan to the Gladstone-based Alger-Delta Cooperative Electric Association is part of $540 million from the U.S. Agriculture department’s rural utilities program to fund various projects in Michigan and 17 other states.

The cooperative’s website says it serves about 10,000 members. About 440 consumers will benefit from the improvement projects funded by the loan, which includes $70,000 for smart grid projects.

Assistance to customers of rural utilities is included in the 2014 Farm Bill which President Barack Obama signed in February in East Lansing.

Since 2009, the federal government has spent about $28 billion in rural electric infrastructure across the country.

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