Danbury, WI, Aug 03, 2012 -- CONTACT: Kelly Edwards, Public Information Coordinator
New Joint Water Quality Commission Celebrates Project Completion
Recently Completed Water and Sewer Systems Go On-line
DANBURY, WI – AUGUST 3, 2012 - - Residents and businesses in two northwestern Wisconsin communities now enjoy new public water and sewer service thanks to a partnership between the Danbury Sanitary District and the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of WI.
Neither the St. Croix Tribe nor the Village of Danbury had a municipal system, and residents in both communities were facing failing individual septic systems and contaminated wells. Additionally, the issues were leading to concerns of pollution to the nearby St. Croix River. The St. Croix River is listed a National Scenic River and designated as an Outstanding Resource Water by the State of Wisconsin.
Today, those issues and concerns can be put to rest, as the communities celebrate the completion of the new systems that will reinforce water quality and preserve the environment for the region.
USDA Rural Development staff worked with leaders from both communities to adopt a plan to resolve the water and contamination issues. The Tribe and Danbury Sanitary District formed the Joint Water Quality Commission to construct, operate, and manage the new, state-of-the-art, water treatment and sewer collection facilities.
USDA Rural Development Wisconsin Administrative Programs Director, Lori Wells, said infrastructure projects like these directly tie into the sustainability and viability of communities.
“This project reflects the commitment of the local leaders to their residents,” said Wells. “The new commission established by this endeavor is the first joint system of its kind in the Nation, bringing together an Indian Nation and a Sanitary District to form a regional system. By partnering together and sharing resources, the Village of Danbury and the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of WI are able to provide needed services to both their communities; and improve the quality of life for area residents. USDA Rural Development is 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.”
“At the turn of the century the need for a sewer and water system in Danbury was essential, so a group of inspired people from the Danbury community got together forming the Joint Water Quality Commission. With the help and support that we received from the various departments of government; DNR, USDA, and special appropriation money from Wisconsin; this project was well on its way to fruition,” said Marshall Hill, Chairperson of the Joint Water Quality Commission of Danbury and St Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin. “I recall the many people that helped make this happen, and thank them all for their hard work, but I would like to acknowledge one person who, without her help, we would not be in the great financial position we are today. Susan Larson of the USDA went the extra mile with no financial gain just a lot of personal wants to see this project to its end. This world needs more people like her. I have enjoyed every aspect of this project and I am proud to have been a part of it.”
USDA Rural Development approved Water and Waste Disposal loan and grant combinations totaling $8.75 million to help with the cost of constructing the new facilities. The State of Wisconsin, the WI Department of Natural Resources, and Indian Health Services contributed another $4.6 million to the $13 million project.
This project will ultimately benefit the residents of Danbury and the St. Croix Tribe, the environment, and 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.
During the past year, USDA Rural Development invested nearly $550 million throughout rural Wisconsin and helped a record number of residents receive funding for economic development projects and quality of life improvements. The agency’s investment in Wisconsin helped create or retain more than 2,000 jobs; aided 2,900 families in buying their own homes; and assisted more than 200 communities in improving community facilities and upgrading local infrastructure.
This year, USDA is commemorating the 150th anniversary founding of the “Peoples Department.” In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act of Congress establishing the United States Department of Agriculture. Since then, USDA has helped support the tremendous growth and success of American agriculture, drive economic growth, conserved natural resources and build stronger communities and a stronger nation. As we celebrate 150 years of accomplishments, USDA is looking to the future as we continue to help address the changing needs of agriculture and rural America.
To learn more about Rural Development, visit our website at www.rurdev.usda.gov/wi.
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