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USDA Invests $6 Million to Improve Historic Community Infrastructure for Residents of Baraboo, Wisconsin

Nikki Gillespie
Release Date
Apr 28, 2022

BARABOO, Wisc., April 28, 2022 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Wisconsin Julie Lassa today visited the city of Baraboo to help local officials and partners celebrate the groundbreaking of renovations on the community’s historic library.

“USDA Rural Development is the lead Federal agency helping rural communities grow and prosper,” Lassa said. “One of our longstanding priorities is investing in modern infrastructure for rural community facilities. Today’s investments reflect how critical affordable financing is for infrastructure housing essential services in rural communities. It’s clear that today’s project is more than just an investment to the community of Baraboo, and we remain committed to the many partnerships that it takes to continue to build new opportunities and improve the quality of life for people living in rural Wisconsin.” 

Achieving its charter as a public library in 1895, Carnegie Public Library opened its doors to the facility as it currently stands in 1903. Host to children looking to hear a great story during public story hours and an original print collection of more than 5,000 books, the library was officially renamed the Carnegie-Schadde Memorial Public Library on July 1, 2021, to commemorate the generous donation made by Juanita Schadde and family to help kickstart the possibility of today’s celebratory library expansion project.  

In partnership with a $6 million loan through USDA’s Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant program, the historic Carnegie-Schadde Memorial Public Library will break ground on renovations to preserve the long-standing historic facility and also a significant expansion to help meet the growing needs of the community, including enhanced learning, connection and growth opportunities for the more than 23,000 residents to benefit.

Funding Background:

More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less. For more information, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-facilities/community-facilities-direct-loan-grant-program/wi.

Interested parties should contact their local Wisconsin Rural Development office for information about additional funding, application procedures and eligibility. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants (PDF, 669 KB) for a detailed overview of the application process.

Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/wi. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.