FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 24, 2009
Contact: Jake Rubin
KAGEN IS INVESTING OUR TAX DOLLARS IN NORTHEAST WISCONSIN
USDA grants for energy projects and Recovery Act grants from HUD to support job growth
(WASHINGTON, DC) Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. is investing our tax dollars in Northeast Wisconsin putting us on the road to energy independence and improving our communities through promoting job growth. Kagen is proud to announce several grants for our area.
The United States Department of Agriculture is providing $62.5 million in loans and grants for 705 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in 45 states and Puerto Rico under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), an important initiative to help rebuild and revitalize rural America.
Terry Lee Birling of Clintonville, WI will receive $20,000 to assist in developing renewable energy systems and in making energy-efficiency improvements. According to the grant announcement from the USDA, this project will assist in the financing of a 20 kWh wind turbine producing 18, 274 kWh per year, saving the farm over $2,000 per year.
Gerald J. Kuehn of Egg Harbor, WI will receive $16,072. According to the grant announcement from the USDA, this project will fund the purchase of a 6.56 kW photovoltaic system on this small grain and dairy farm in Door County. The estimated annual energy production is 8,239 kWh.
Kagen said, “To build a better future for our children we must put our nation on the road to energy independence – saving money and protecting our environment. There are some farms in Northeast Wisconsin that are doing incredible work in the area of renewable energy and these funds will help them continue their great work. I was proud to include Rural Energy for America Program in the Farm Bill and today we are seeing how that program helps farmers in our community.”
The REAP program was authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill. REAP loan guarantees and grants can be used for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements, feasibility studies and energy audits. Funding of each recipient is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the grant agreement. Kagen is the only member of Congress from Wisconsin on the House Agriculture Committee.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $620 million to over 500 communities across the country through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The State of Wisconsin will receive $7,533,775, Appleton will receive $161,702 and Green Bay will receive $267,161.
“I am working hard to bring our tax dollars back to Wisconsin to promote job growth and improve our communities. We have taken action to put our nation on the road to economic recovery. Everyone understands these actions will take time to succeed, but we are moving in the right direction,” said Kagen.
The Recovery Act made available a total of $1 billion through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. With today’s announcement, $1 billion, all Recovery Act Community Development Block Grants, are now in the hands of communities, working to create jobs and revitalize neighborhoods.
CDBG enables state and local governments to undertake a wide range of activities intended to create suitable living environments, provide affordable housing and create economic opportunities. Under the Recovery Act, recipients give priority to prudent and responsible projects for which contracts through a bidding process within 120 days of the grant agreement.
Since 1974, CDBG has provided more than $127 billion to state and local governments to target their own community development priorities. The rehabilitation of affordable housing and the construction and improvement of public facilities have traditionally been the largest uses of CDBG funds, although the program is also an important catalyst for job growth and business opportunities. Annual CDBG funds are distributed to communities according to statutory formulas based on population, poverty, pre-1940 housing stock, growth lag, and housing overcrowding.