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. Read more »
Brian Deaner, (left) USDA Rural Development Community Programs Director, presents Stan Charron with the 2012 Award of Excellence during Carron’s retirement gathering in Marshfield, Wis. Photo provided by Dorene Spindler, MSA Professional Services, Inc. – Used with permission.
USDA Rural Development is committed to working with partners across the nation to assist in improving the quality of life and promote economic sustainability for our rural communities and residents. These valuable partnerships come in many forms, from partners who make financial investments to support business and infrastructure expansion and development to our partners who provide hands on services and expertise that help make these projects a reality.
In an effort to recognize these important partnerships, Rural Development Wisconsin State Director Stan Gruszynski, has named Stanley Charron as the recipient of the 2012 Wisconsin Valued Partner Award for Engineering Excellence. Read more »
Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager visits with North Vernon, Indiana residents as they celebrate their new water system, thanks to USDA Rural Development.
U. S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development, Dallas Tonsager, was in Indiana July 19 and 20, reviewing how the agency’s programs and services are helping create jobs and improve the quality of life in the Hoosier state. Read more »
Local leaders are keeping the spirit of Earth Day alive and well in rural South Dakota. On Monday April 18, 2011, USDA, Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager announced 51 water and waste disposal and two Community Facilities projects funded as part of Earth Day 2011. I had the privilege of spending several days in South Dakota during that week to celebrate Earth Day and highlight the efforts of rural communities who are improving the quality of life for their residents and working towards efforts to protect the environment for future generations.
In the City of Sturgis, 105 second and fifth graders celebrated Earth Day alongside local leaders outside of the Sturgis Elementary School. The City highlighted upcoming improvements to their water system, made possible through a loan and grant from USDA Rural Development. Students, USDA officials and the mayor shared their thoughts on why taking care of the community and the environment is an important activity for everyone at every age. Read more »
Secretary Vilsack meets with construction workers at the Berlin plant site. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is providing construction jobs across the nation.
The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited the town of Berlin, Maryland, Monday to check up on the upgrades that are taking place to improve the Berlin Wastewater Treatment Plant. Secretary Vilsack is the highest-ranking federal official to visit the town since Franklin D. Roosevelt was there in the 1930s. The Secretary spoke to the people of Berlin in front of the Atlantic Hotel about the status of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The technology that the Town of Berlin is installing as a part of that act was made possible thanks to a grant and some low interest Water and Environmental Program loans from the USDA. These upgrades will help to remove the pathogens, nutrients and other pollutants from the influent. The renovation and expansion that the USDA is funding will increase the capacity at the plant to 750,000 gallons each day and make the facility compliant with current Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Standards. The Secretary said that these upgrades will save or create over 65 jobs in our area. Read more »
Community leaders from the Town of Ipswich, South Dakota celebrate the construction of a new water tower.
USDA Rural Development joined Ipswich, South Dakota city officials, congressional staff, partners, and members of the community recently for a “raising of the ball” event. There was excitement in the air as the National Anthem was sung by members of the Ipswich High School chorus, drum roll, and all eyes focused on the crane raising the “ball” to complete the 150,000 gallon elevated tower. This was definitely a site to see as history was in the making in this small rural town – population 943. The original system, including the tower and lines were constructed back in 1910 – 100 years ago. Read more »