USDA Invests $114.5M In Rural Wisconsin

USDA is investing $114.5 million to build and improve critical infrastructure in rural Wisconsin.

Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this week the investments will help expand access to clean water and reliable electricity in people’s homes and businesses in rural communities statewide. It comes on the heels of the Biden administration releasing its Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan.

The plan represents a historic effort of unpresented ambition that will deploy catalytic resources from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law while leveraging every tool across governments to deliver clean drinking water replacing lead pipes and remediating lead paint.

“When we invest in rural infrastructure, we invest in the livelihoods and health of people in rural America,” says Vilsack. “Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA is committed to Building a Better America by investing in America’s rural infrastructure, expanding access to broadband, clean drinking water and resilient power infrastructure. The investments we are announcing today will drive the creation of good-paying union jobs and grow the economy sustainably and equitably so that everyone gets ahead for decades to come.”

The news also comes after the recent passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. USDA says the $114.5 million investment reflects the ways Rural Development’s programs are helping people address infrastructure needs to help rural America.

For example:

  • The city of Bloomer will use $27.6 million under the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program to replace all lead service lines, lead-jointed water main pipes and sanitary sewer mains. These improvements will help the city to reduce lead limits in their water distribution system for 3,539 people in Chippewa County. Funding also will help to prevent inflow and infiltration issues from cracked piping.
  • The city of Waterloo will use $21.1 million to replace aging wastewater treatment facility infrastructure and meet current and future effluent limits, including phosphorus. These improvements will benefit 3,339 people in Jefferson County.
  • The village of Wonewoc will use $10.05 million to renovate and expand the wastewater treatment facility and address overflow issues. This investment will benefit 816 people in Juneau County.
  • The city of Chetek will use $20.7 million to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant and address several code violations for residential and commercial structures within 500 feet of the site. This investment will benefit 2,221 people in Barron County.
  • The village of Turtle Lake will use $21.8 million to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant and sewer system and address excessive phosphorus and chloride limits. These improvement will benefit 1,050 people in Barron County.
  • Scenic Rivers Energy Cooperative will use a $13.2 million loan under the Electric Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program to build 2.2 new miles of line and a new headquarters facilities. Scenic Rivers serves 14,289 consumers over 3,528 miles of line in Grant, Richland, Green, Crawford, Iowa, Lafayette and Vernon counties in Wisconsin, as well as Jo Daviess and Stephenson counties in Illinois.

See the photos below of Tom Vilsack’s trip to Cambridge, on Hinchley’s Dairy Farm.