Port Wing, WI, Nov 09, 2011 -- More than 420 residents and businesses in Bayfield County will soon enjoy improved public water service thanks to a partnership between the Town of Port Wing, the US Army Corp. of Engineers, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.
The town’s existing facility was over 40 years old, and exceeded its useful life and was discharging untreated water into the Lake Bibon tributary that ultimately flows into Lake Superior.
Today, those issues and concerns can be put to rest, as the community celebrates the completion of the new collection system that will reinforce water quality and preserve the environment for the region.
USDA Rural Development Area Director, Cora Schultz, joined area residents; town leaders; and federal, state, and local officials at a ceremony celebrating the completion of construction and commencement of operation of Port Wing’s new, state-of-the-art, wastewater treatment facility.
The celebration included a ribbon cutting, open house and a Certificate of Achievement, presented by USDA Rural Development.
Schultz, said infrastructure projects like these directly tie into the sustainability and viability of communities.
“Aging water and waste infrastructure systems threaten the ability of rural communities to provide clean, reliable drinking water to residents and protect precious environmental resources.” said Schultz. “Having clean water to drink shouldn’t be a privilege, but a right of every resident of Wisconsin. We are pleased to be a part of projects such as this, which are vital to the sustainability of our rural communities and allow our rural residents a safer, cleaner living environment.”
USDA Rural Development approved a Water and Waste Disposal loan and grant combination totaling over $1,142,000 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to help with the cost of the new facility and upgrades. The Army Corp. of Engineers contributed the additional $2,106,000 necessary to fund the project.
The loan and grant each totaled $571,000 were used for the construction of a Recirculating Sand Filter treatment facility, in addition to various collection system repairs and necessary upgrade to meet WI Department of Natural Resources requirements.
This project will ultimately benefit the residents of Port Wing, the environment and the surrounding communities in several ways. Preventing wastewater from being discharged onto the ground or nearby surface waters, improving water quality, stabilizing property values, and making the area a cleaner and safer place to live and enjoy.
USDA Rural Development’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Programs provide water and waste financing to rural communities. Recipients of the funding may build, repair, and improve public water systems, and waste collection and treatment systems in rural communities with up to 10,000 in population.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is designed to jumpstart the nation's economy, create or save millions of jobs and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.
More information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery.
USDA Rural Development’s mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. As the lead federal agency for rural development needs, USDA Rural Development returned nearly $936 million dollars this past year to rural Wisconsin communities. Funds are used to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technological infrastructures. Further information on USDA Rural Development programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting the web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/wi.