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Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection

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Rural Business-Cooperative Service.


Proposed collection; Comments requested.


In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Rural Business-Cooperative Service's intention to request an extension for a currently approved information collection in support of the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program (7 CFR 1703, Subpart B).


Comments on this notice must be received by March 20, 2000, to be assured of consideration.

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Mark Wyatt, Specialty Lenders Division, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 3225, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250-3225, Telephone (202) 720-2383.

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Title: Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program.

OMB Number: 0572-0012.

Expiration Date of Approval: April 30, 2000.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection.

Abstract: The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) is part of the Rural Development mission area of the United States Department of Agriculture. RBS administers the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program, which provides zero interest loans and grants to Rural Utilities Service (RUS) borrowers for the purpose of promoting rural economic development and job creation projects. The loans and grants under the REDLG program may be provided to approximately 1,700 electric and telephone utilities across the country that have borrowed funds from RUS. Under this program, the RUS borrowers may receive the loan funds and pass them on to businesses or other organizations. The RUS borrower is responsible for the loan even if it does not receive payments from the ultimate recipient. Grants may be provided to RUS borrowers to establish revolving loan funds.

RBS needs to receive the information contained in this collection of information to select the projects it believes will provide the most long-term economic benefit to rural areas. The selection process is competitive and RBS has generally received more applications than it could fund. RBS also needs to make sure the funds are used for the intended purpose and, in the case of the loan, that the funds will be repaid. RBS must determine that loans made from revolving loan funds established with grants are used for eligible purposes.

Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 3.4 hours per response.

Respondents: RUS borrowers.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 180.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 12.6.

Estimated Number of Responses: 2,276.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 7,742.

Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Cheryl Thompson, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, Support Services Division, at (202) 692-0043.


Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of Rural Business-Cooperative Service, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of Rural Business-Cooperative Service's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection Start Printed Page 3202of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to Cheryl Thompson, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, Support Services Division, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, STOP 0742, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250-0742. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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Dated: January 11, 2000.

Dayton J. Watkins,

Administrator, Rural Business—Cooperative Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-1280 Filed 1-19-00 8:45 am]