The Pella Cooperative Electric Association has received a FEMA grant for $5.6 million to replace and strengthen portions of its electrical distribution lines.
The money is only part of a $7.4 million project that will upgrade and rebuild infrastructure for about 128 miles of rural power lines. FEMA is covering 75-percent of the project, the state of Iowa is covering 10-percent, and the cooperative is responsible for the final 15-percent. Funds from the state and the co-op have already been approved.
The project must be completed within three years and is part of FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Program. It is designed to help the co-op’s electrical system better withstand the effects of storms and natural disasters thereby decreasing the loss of life and property.
The electrical lines to be upgraded are in Jasper, Mahaska, Marion, Polk and Poweshiek counties.
Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin was instrumental in creating legislation that expanded the HMP program after the floods of 1993. He says, “This assistance will help the Pella Cooperative Electric Association improve its service and reliability to help ensure that Iowa’s rural residents receive their electricity in a save and efficient manner.”