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USDA Partners with Six Wisconsin Rural Communities to Improve Water & Wastewater Infrastructure

Jessica Mancel
Stevens Point
Release Date

Wisconsin Rural Development State Director Frank Frassetto announced today that USDA is investing $51.4 million to help rebuild and improve rural water infrastructure that will benefit nearly 12,000 rural residents.

“Modern infrastructure is the cornerstone to ensuring prosperity in rural communities,” Frassetto said. “The project in the city of Waupun is a great example of how state-of-the-art technology, married with modern infrastructure, can address essential concerns like water and wastewater treatment in smaller communities.”

USDA is providing financing for six water and environmental infrastructure projects through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. The funding can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.     

Eligible communities and water districts can apply online on the interactive RD Apply tool, or they can apply through one of Wisconsin Rural Development’s Area Offices.

Below are some examples of the investments USDA is making in Wisconsin:

  • The City of Waupun is receiving a $37.1 million loan and grant combination to improve its current water distribution and storm water collection system infrastructure, as well as the wastewater treatment facility and system extensions throughout the city. Improvements to the wastewater treatment facility include the addition of a phosphorus removal system using a new state-of-the-art technology – Advanced Biological Nutrient Removal – capable of recovering phosphorus and nitrogen into harvested algae biomass.This process helps the city in achieving compliance with its phosphorus limits in the Rock River Basin.

  • The Village of Reedsville will receive a $1.9 million loan and grant combination to upgrade their current water distribution system in several areas of the village. Existing water mains, constructed in the 1930’s of cast iron, are in very poor condition, leaving them susceptible to breakage. Replacement of the aged mains will provide a more reliable water system and result in increased fire protection flow. Reedsville is also receiving a $2.1 million loan and grant to upgrade their sanitary sewer system in the same areas of village that were constructed during the same timeframe and are also in poor condition. These projects represent a significant investment that will enhance the quality of life for approximately 1,206 residents in the village.

  • The Village of Tennyson will receive a $4.2 million in loans and grants to upgrade the current water and sanitary systems. Rural Development's investment in the village's infrastructure removes potential health hazards and modernizes an aged system that is well past its useful life and helps the village maintain critical services to 355 users.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.

To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit http://www.rd.usda.gov/wi.