Rhinelander One Of 49 Communities Given Designation

Apr 22, 2014

Mayor Dick Johns(L) receiving Earth Day designation from state USDA Director Stan Gruszynski(R) in the city council chambers.
Credit WXPR

Rhinelander was selected as one of 49 communities across the U.S. as a national Earth Day recepient by the Department of Agriculture. As part of the designation, the city received a total of $3.7 million in grant and lower-interest loans to upgrade sewer and storm water systems.

USDA Rural Development State Director Stan Gruszynski presented Mayor Dick Johns with an award recognizing the city's initiative toward improving water quality...

"....this is the headwaters of the Wisconsin River and other important tributaries in this system. It's important to keep that water clean not only for our own health and safety but for future generations..."

The money will be used to fund the downtown sewer and water lines downtown, beginning in 2016. Mayor Dick Johns says the award shows a cooperative spirit...

"....it shows when people get together to do projects and everybody is working for the same goal, it will pay off and work out for you...."

Gruszynski says Rhinelander's application met some key points...

"....it's actually 20 percent of poverty, which means there are people here that really could use the support of the federal government in terms of helping to pay for this facility..."

$2.1 million will come as loans, $1.6 million as a grant.