|USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT CELEBRATES EARTH DAY IN RICHLAND CENTER|
|Richland Center, WIS, Apr 22, 2013
Kevin Tuttle 715-345-7615 x154
USDA Rural Development Celebrates Earth Day in Richland Center
RICHLAND CENTER, WIS, April 22, 2013 – To celebrate Earth Day, USDA Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Judith Canales joined local officials and project partners to officially award Richland Center funding to prevent water contamination and improve air quality through investments in a new wastewater treatment facility.
“I am extremely pleased to take part in this important announcement,” said Canales. “USDA Rural Development is dedicated to improving water quality for rural residents. This funding will significantly enhance the quality of life for the residents of Richland Center.”
USDA Rural Development will provide a $15.7 million loan and $6.45 million grant to finance improvements and construction of a new wastewater treatment facility and administrative building. The upgrades and new construction will ensure the prevention of contamination to the area groundwater, improve air quality, enable the city to keep sewer rates affordable, and allow for planned growth of the community.
The city currently experiences issues with ground water contamination and air pollution as the current facility is located in a confined area in the downtown district. Richland Center is also unable to handle the community growth with their present facility.
Also taking part in the celebration were children from the local school district, who competed in the Earth Day Logo Drawing Contest, with the winner’s logo used as the 2014 Earth Day logo for next year’s Rural Development Earth Day celebrations in Wisconsin. The winning child was 3rd grader, McKenna Layer, while the runner-up was 2nd grader, Michaeleen Falk, both of Doudna Elementary School.
As part of USDA’s Earth Day celebration, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced support for projects that will improve water and wastewater services for rural Americans and benefit the environment across the country. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
“At USDA, we believe it is critical that communities across the country have reliable, clean and safe water,” Vilsack said. “This Earth Day, I also encourage communities affected by natural disasters, including those hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, to apply for funding through the Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants Program.
In all, 43 water and wastewater projects in 32 states will be funded. Earth Day is observed annually on April 22 to raise awareness about the role each person can play to protect vital natural resources and safeguard the environment. Since the first Earth Day celebration in 1970, the event has expanded to include participation by citizens and governments in more than 195 countries.
As part of today’s announcement, USDA Rural Development is providing more than $145.2 million to improve water quality and provide a safe and healthy environment for rural Americans.
Funding for each project is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan, grant, or loan/grant agreement. A complete list of water and wastewater award recipients is located here.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $700 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.
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SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).