USDA Rural Development Helps Rural Wisconsin Community Provide Senior Housing, Child Care and Clean Water
Earth Day was earlier this week and one village in Wisconsin has helped secure the future for themselves and their children through environmental upgrades. Nestled in a valley in western Wisconsin, the Village of Spring Valley has faced its share of challenges throughout its history. Prior to completion of an earthen dam in 1968, flooding was a chronic problem.
Two projects largely funded by USDA Rural Development have improved the quality of life and the environment in Spring Valley. The first, completed in June 2011, is the new wastewater treatment plant. Because the Rotating Biological Contactor system’s capacity had been significantly reduced in years prior, the need to upgrade the plant was inevitable. The Village received $3.5 million in funding through USDA Rural Development’s Water and Environmental program.
“The wastewater treatment plant is more compliant with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. We release back into the Eau Galle River after treatment, so it’s imperative that we meet the standards,” said Marsha Brunkhorst, Spring Valley Village President.
The other project, on the Village’s west side, is the Spring Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center. This facility, completed in 2011, boasts over 40,500 square feet of spacious interior, 46 private suites with private baths, neighborhoods with household designs, two interior courtyards with patios and strolling paths, a chapel and many more amenities. It is Medicaid and Medicare certified and offers therapy and rehabilitative services including physical, speech, occupational and restorative therapies. USDA Rural Development provided more than $6 million towards the construction of the non-profit facility with a Community Facilities guaranteed loan, and $600,000 towards the cost of the furnishings and equipment. The center incorporated solar energy panels in its construction, providing all the domestic hot water needed for the entire facility. Current projections show payback from the solar panels in approximately six years.
The lower level of the health care facility has been turned into the Sunshine Child Care and Learning Center, which several staff members utilize for their own children’s day care needs. USDA Rural Development provided a Community Facilities direct loan and a grant towards the day care’s completion.
“Leadership in Spring Valley, both from the municipal standpoint as well as the nonprofit sector, has positioned the community well for the future. The Village has made upgrades to the wastewater utility that will protect the environment and serve the needs of the community for many years to come,” said Brian Deaner, USDA Rural Development Community Programs Director. “Likewise, the Spring Valley nursing home has made improvements to the elder care facility and campus which will serve the changing needs of its residents as baby boomers enter their retirement years and look for a quality of life that is deserved in this rural setting. Rural Development has been instrumental in keeping the costs associated with these large capital improvement projects affordable to the residents of the community.”
For more information on Spring Valley, visit www.springvalleywisconsin.org, and for additional information on Spring Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center, visit www.svhcs.org. To learn more about USDA Rural Development and its wide array of programs, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/wi.