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News Release
Release No. STELPRD4023613
ContactKelly Edwards715-701-2741
Printable Version  Printable Version

    Rhinelander, WI, Apr 22, 2014 -- Contact: Kelly Edwards | (715) 701.2741 |


    RHINELANDER, WI – APRIL 22, 2014 - - - - In observance of Earth Day 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has awarded the City of Rhinelander funding for the City’s downtown sewer improvement project. In addition, USDA Rural Development has selected the City of Rhinelander as a 2014 National Earth Day Project Community.

USDA Rural Development joined City Leaders to officially announce that the agency has awarded the City of Rhinelander a total of $3,754,000 in a federal grant and loan combination to upgrade and rehabilitate the current sewer and storm water systems.

    The announcement included an award presentation by USDA Rural Development State Director Stan Gruszynski to Mayor Richard Johns. The Award recognizes the City’s initiative and leadership toward improving the services for area residents and preventing contamination to the headwaters of the Wisconsin River.  “Earth Day serves as our reminder that we are responsible for protecting and preserving the environment and natural resources for those generations to come. Today’s celebration acknowledges the initiative and leadership of the city of Rhinelander for making the investments critical to a safer, healthier, more prosperous and sustainable future for the citizens of the Rhinelander area,” said Gruszynski. “Improvements to the City’s waste collection system is critical to expansion and growth. These sorts of investments create jobs, protect health, inspire a greater sense of community, and make sense! On this Earth Day occasion, USDA Rural Development is proud to be a partner with the citizens of Rhinelander.” 

    Through this project, the City of Rhinelander will improve sewer services for the community. The project will provide for the separation of the existing combined sanitary and storm water sewers in the downtown city area.  The project will address the aged, deteriorated, combined sewer and manholes; eliminate the potential for sanitary sewer backups; allow for both sewer systems to be constructed to proper engineering standards; and meet the City policy and State sewer separation standards. The separation of the sanitary and storm sewers will also help to prevent the bypass of raw sewage into the headwaters of the Wisconsin River.

    USDA Rural Development approved a $2.1 million loan and a grant totaling $1.654 million toward the project through USDA Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Programs.


    The Water and Environmental Program provides loans and grants to ensure that necessary investments are made in water and wastewater infrastructure to ensure safe drinking water and protect the environment in rural areas.

    Earth Day is observed annually on April 22 to raise awareness about the role citizens, businesses and communities can play in protecting the environment.  Since the first Earth Day celebration in 1970, the event has expanded to include participation by citizens and governments in more than in 175 countries.


    In all, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA is helping to fund 116 water and wastewater projects in 40 states and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, totaling more than $387 million.  Today’s announcement is USDA’s largest Earth Day investment in rural water and wastewater systems.  This record level is achieved through $150 million in grants provided by the 2014 Farm Bill plus $237 million in loans and grants from USDA’s Water and Environmental Program.  

    The assistance will improve water quality and help protect the environment and natural resources.  These investments will also help rural America prepare for the global challenges of the 21st century. Funding for each project is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan, grant or loan/grant agreement. For a complete list of recipients, click here (

    USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, health, education, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the lives of people in rural areas and the economic health of rural communities. During the last year, the agency has assisted nearly 9,000 families and businesses in more than100 communities, investing more than $838 million into rural Wisconsin through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.

    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. For more information on USDA Rural Development programs visit USDA’s web site at


    USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

    If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF), found online at, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at

Last Modified:11/20/2014 
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