Viola, WI – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined officials from U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development today to award the Village of Viola a $250,000 Community Facilities Disaster Grant. The grant will be used to assist in relocating streets and utilities in a portion of the community that is in a flood plain and also includes $1 million in leveraged funds through Tax Increment District Funding.
“Building back better means creating infrastructure that is resilient to climate change and made to last,” said Senator Baldwin. “I am pleased to announce this $250,000 grant for the Village of Viola to aid in the relocation of streets and utilities that are currently located in a flood plain and I will continue to advocate for our rural communities. I look forward to working with the Biden Administration to pass our bipartisan infrastructure bill into law so we can continue to modernize and strengthen our infrastructure to ensure Wisconsin is better prepared for future natural disasters.”
The Kickapoo River flooded the village six times between 2007 and 2019 which resulted in water pumps failing and sewer mains creating backups in residences and businesses located in the floodplain. USDA started working with the village to address flooding remediation in the summer of 2019 which resulted in USDA funding a $30,000 Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (SEARCH) Grant to research possible improvements to the wastewater collection and treatment system and possible relocation of the existing utilities.
USDA staff worked with village to fund their water and sewer project earlier this year through our Water & Environmental Program with a $1.3 million loan and $972,000 grant. This project will include new water distribution lines to provide clean, safe and reliable water in the resettlement areas, including a new well. The sewer improvements will be designed to assist in preventing sewer backups related to previous flooding incidents and allow for the relocating of residential and commercial development out of the floodplain into proposed resettlement sites. This project included $1 million in leveraged funds through the Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant.
“USDA is here to be a strong partner to our rural communities so they can build back better and more resilient in times of natural disasters,” said Michelle Wallace, USDA Rural Development Wisconsin Acting State Director. “Through our Community Facilities & Environmental programs, we continue to maximize the affordability of communities infrastructure needs by stretching our dollars further when we partner with other state and federal Agencies.”
Today’s announcement includes funding from the Community Facilities Loan and Grant Program and the $150 million in grants included in the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act. More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas.