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Kan. co-op gets $15M to improve electric service

GIRARD, Kan. (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture says a southeast Kansas electrical cooperative is getting about $15 million to make system improvements.

The USDA says the funds will help Girard-based Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative build 242 miles of distribution line and make other improvements. The money includes a loan of about $192,000 for smart grid projects.

The agency says 12 other states are also getting a total of about $280 million for similar upgrades in rural areas, resulting in the construction of more than 1,900 miles of new or improved electric line.