Federal Grants Fund Niagara Equipment and Sidewalk Improvements | News, Sports, Jobs

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Niagara Public Works employees show off a new final loader and implements purchased with a $150,000 grant from the US Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Left to right are Jamie Oratch, Jim Stachowicz, JJ Coppens, Matt Zanon and John Henrichs. (Photo by Karen Klenke)

NIAGARA, Wis. – The City of Niagara successfully secured grants in 2021 to meet equipment and infrastructure needs, receiving $453,986 to build sidewalks on Roosevelt Road and $150,000 to purchase a final loader.

“Grants have played such an important role in improving the quality of services we can provide,” said Audrey Fredrick, administrator-clerk-treasurer. “It has been an exciting and productive year for us in this regard, and we are very grateful for the funding opportunities.”

The city has other upgrades coming, including a John Deere electric mower, patrol car and improvements to the police department’s evidence room, Fredrick said.

The public works equipment grant was recently announced by Julie Lassa, Acting State Director of the US Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Wisconsin. It is funded through the Community Facilities Direct Loans and Grants Program, which helps rural residents build or improve infrastructure and purchase or replace equipment.

The new final loader replaces a 1983 machine that required frequent costly repairs to parts that are no longer maintained. This project will also include a bucket, forks and plow coupler to help provide the town with the tools needed to continue snow removal and maintenance services for its 1,624 residents.

“Modern infrastructure and amenities are the cornerstone of any community’s success, especially in rural areas,” said Lassa.

For the sidewalk project, the city requested $453,986,000 of Marinette County’s $900,000 available through the Community Development Block Grant-Close program, Fredrick said.

Projects eligible for this funding must be located in communities with more than 50% low- or moderate-income population. Niagara earmarked the grant for the construction of a sidewalk at the north end of US 141/Roosevelt Road from Dewey Street to Jefferson Avenue.

This will provide increased safety and better access for pedestrians, Fredrick said.

CDBG funding is administered by the Energy, Housing, and Community Development Division of the Wisconsin Department of Administration.

Acting on behalf of Marinette County Council, the Executive Committee approved the submission of the application to CDBG. County Administrator John Lefebvre was instrumental in the application and approval process, Fredrick noted.

Cedar Corporation of Green Bay provided the engineering for the project and FA Industrial Services of Iron River was awarded the project as general contractor.

The Village of Wausaukee received the balance of CDBG funds from the county.

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