Tom Vilsack speaks in Wilmington, Del., after being nominated as Secretary of Agriculture in December 2020. Vilsack visited Wisconsin Thursday to announce a aid to a series of communities for water, sewer and electric power projects. (Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images)
Rural Wisconsin will get $114.5 million in investments for water and electric power, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on a visit to the state Thursday.
The funds come from the USDA’s Rural Development programs through the recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Projects include $27.6 million for the city of Bloomer to replace lead service lines and water mains with lead joints as well as sanitary sewer mains; $21.1 million to replace a wastewater treatment infrastructure in the city of Waterloo; $10.1 million to renovate and expand a wastewater treatment plan in the village of Wonewoc; $20.7 million for the city of Chetek to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant; $21.8 million for the village of Turtle Lake to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant and sewer system, including reducing excess phosphorus and chloride; and a $13.2 million loan for Scenic Rivers Energy Coop to build new line and a new headquarters. The cooperative provides electric power to 14,289 customers in seven south central and southwestern Wisconsin counties and two northwestern Illinois counties.
In a statement, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) cheered the announcement, pointing out her own support for the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
“Every Wisconsin community needs access to clean drinking water, an environment free of toxic chemicals, high-speed internet, and stable electricity,” Baldwin said, adding that “the Biden administration’s commitment to rural communities will help make that reality, while also creating good-paying jobs across the state.”
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