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 »
By Lori Duff, USDA Public Affairs Specialist New Hampshire
The town of Peterborough, New Hampshire has been working diligently to upgrade its wastewater treatment facility for the town’s 6,222 residents since 2000 – when they learned that Environmental Protection Agency requirements for treatment plants were changing. By 2006 the need was critical. Read more »
Written by Amy Mund, Public Information Coordinator USDA Rural Development-Colorado
Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager joined Colorado Rural Development State Director Jim Isgar in Woodland Park earlier this week to celebrate Earth Day. Tranquil Acres Water Supply, a small rural community of 60 users received $564,700 in USDA water and environmental program loan and grant funding to help repair existing water lines and to upgrade the system. The entity has been facing severe reliability issues for several years because the original system was placed too shallow for the area. Several board members attended as well as representatives from Senator Udall and Senator Bennet’s offices.
Homeowners present at the event noted they are excited that once the system is operational, they will not have leaking, freezing pipes to deal with and others will have the opportunity to hook up to the system. The entity hopes to break ground in July 2010.
Pictured (left to right) is John Dover, honorary utility board member, Ron Weien, Board President and Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager.