1st Engrossment - 83rd Legislature (2003 - 2004) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to agriculture; extending the interest-free 1.3 status of methane digester loans and expanding the 1.4 purposes for the loans; amending Minnesota Statutes 1.5 2002, section 41B.049. 1.6 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.7 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 41B.049, is 1.8 amended to read: 1.9 41B.049 [METHANE DIGESTER AND ON-FARM PROCESSING LOAN 1.10 PROGRAM.] 1.11 Subdivision 1. [ESTABLISHMENT.] The authority shall 1.12 establish and implement a methane digester and on-farm 1.13 processing loan program to help finance the purchase of 1.14 necessary equipment and the construction of a system that will 1.15 utilize manure to produce electricity or on-farm processing of 1.16 agricultural products. 1.17 Subd. 2. [REVOLVING FUND.] There is established in the 1.18 state treasury a methane digester and on-farm processing 1.19 revolving fund, which is eligible to receive appropriations and 1.20 the transfer of funds from other services. All repayments of 1.21 financial assistance granted under subdivision 1, including 1.22 principal and interest, must be deposited into this fund. 1.23 Interest earned on money in the fund accrues to the fund, and 1.24 money in the fund is appropriated to the commissioner of 1.25 agriculture for purposes of the
manuremethane digester and 2.1 on-farm processing loan program, including costs incurred by the 2.2 authority to establish and administer the program. 2.3 Subd. 3. [ELIGIBILITY.] (a) Notwithstanding section 2.4 41B.03, to be eligible for a loan under this section a borrower 2.5 must: 2.6 (1) locate the projects and utilize the equipment and 2.7 practices on land located in Minnesota; 2.8 (2) provide evidence of financial stability; 2.9 (3) demonstrate an ability to repay the loan; and 2.10 (4) provide evidence that the practices implemented and 2.11 capital assets purchased will be properly managed and maintained. 2.12 (b) In addition to the requirements in paragraph (a), 2.13 equipment and practices for an on-farm processing loan must be 2.14 located on the farm of the applicant. 2.15 Subd. 4. [LOANS.] (a) The authority may make a direct loan 2.16 or participate in a loan with an eligible lender to a farmer who 2.17 is eligible under subdivision 3. The interest rates and2.18 Repayment terms of the authority's participation interest may 2.19 differ from the interest rates andrepayment terms of the 2.20 lender's retained portion of the loan. The authority's interest2.21 rate for a direct loan or a loan participation must not exceed2.22 four percent.Loans made under this section before July 1,2.23 2003,must be no-interest loans. 2.24 (b) Application for a direct loan or a loan participation 2.25 must be made on forms prescribed by the authority. 2.26 (c) Standards for loan amortization shall be set by the 2.27 Rural Finance Authority not to exceed ten years. 2.28 (d) Security for the loans must be a personal note executed 2.29 by the borrower and whatever other security is required by the 2.30 eligible lender or the authority. 2.31 (e) No loan proceeds may be used to refinance a debt 2.32 existing prior to application. 2.33 (f) The authority may impose a reasonable nonrefundable 2.34 application fee for each application for a direct loan or a loan 2.35 participation. The authority may review the application fees 2.36 annually and make adjustments as necessary. The application fee 3.1 is initially set at $100 for a loan under subdivision 1. The 3.2 fees received by the authority must be deposited in the 3.3 revolving fund created in subdivision 2. 3.4 Subd. 5. [LOAN CRITERIA.] (a) To be eligible, a borrower 3.5 must be a resident of Minnesota or an entity that is not 3.6 prohibited from owning agricultural land under section 500.24. 3.7 (b) State participation in a participation loan is limited 3.8 to 45 percent of the principal amount of the loan. A direct 3.9 loan or loan participation may not exceed $250,000. 3.10 (c) Loans under this programsubdivision 1 may be used as a 3.11 match for federal loans or grants. 3.12 (d) A borrower who has previously received a loan under 3.13 subdivision 1 is prohibited from receiving another methane 3.14 digester or on-farm processing loan under subdivision 1. 3.15 Sec. 2. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 3.16 Section 1 is effective retroactive to July 1, 2003.