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State DOA Secretary Blumenfeld delivers $1 million block grant to La Farge

LA FARGE, Wis. – Kathy Blumenfeld, Wisconsin Secretary of the Department of Administration, delivered a $1 million Community Development Block Grant check to the Village of La Farge last week that will be used for street, water and sewer upgrades. A number of city and state officials attended the presentation ceremony and talked about the significance of the award to the community.

La Farge Village President Frank Quinn said the award will help the village complete the second phase of a downtown street upgrade thanked all the people locally and at the state level that made the grant happen.

La Farge Village President Frank Quinn talks about the infrastructure improvements that have happened, and will happen in the future, including implementing the flood mitigation work that was started after the 2018 floods.

“First, Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld with the DOA and her team,” said Quinn “We couldn’t have done that with out Dale Klemme from CDA (Executive Director at Community Development Alternatives) and his team. Bart Nies and his team at Delta 3, and all the work they’ve really done for this project, and for other projects that we’ve received some CDBG grant money from. They’ve been through beginning to the end of our of our projects. I also definitely want to thank our village staff, they really put in the hard work. With grants come a lot of responsibilities, so we definitely don’t take that lightly, and with their help it all comes to fruition. So thank you guys for your hard work.”

Quinn said a grant of a million dollars is a huge help to a village the size of La Farge.

“Getting this grant of a million dollars for LaFarge is a big deal. When we think about a million dollars, in maybe a bigger city it might not go as far as it does here. We don’t have the tax base or revenue to really make some of these big improvements that we need that are vital to our community, and being awarded a grant of a million dollars really helps with that. So we are really appreciative of this.”

La Farge Village President Frank Quinn

“Getting this grant of a million dollars for LaFarge is a big deal,” said Quinn “When we think about a million dollars, in maybe a bigger city it might not go as far as it does here. We don’t have the tax base or revenue to really make some of these big improvements that we need that are vital to our community, and being awarded a grant of a million dollars really helps with that. So we are really appreciative of this.”

Secretary Blumenfeld said the Community Development Block Grant program is an important tool to help small communities.

Kathy Blumenfeld – Wisconsin Secretary of the Department of Administration

“One of my favorite parts of being Secretary of DOA is visiting all of the local communities to hear about the things, the great things, that are happening in your communities the challenges that you’re facing, and how we can best support you moving forward in the future,” said Blumenfeld. “One thing that I hear that’s common from every community is that for construction costs, you’re facing higher inflation and supply chain issues. I hear about workforce challenges, and especially lately a lot around child care shortages. And there’s the constant repairs, that every day there’s something that comes up that needs to be fixed. And so we want to be able to partner with you to help you as much as we can to make a vibrant community.”

Blumenfeld went on to say that grants like this one are part of a statewide effort the infrastructure in small communities across the state.

“Communities, as you mentioned, they just can’t do it on your own with your tax base, and revenue base,” said Blumenfeld. “So the very foundation of communities keeping, our streets in good repair, ensuring that our residents have access to clean drinking water, and revamping our essential infrastructure are critical puzzle pieces that we need to keep communities going. Literally, these improvements not only ensure that the basic needs of our residents are met, but also help with securing good paying, family sustaining jobs in our community. These funds today that we’re talking about are more than part of a $20 million that have been awarded by Governor Evers for public facilities that were announced earlier this summer, and LaFarge is one of 21 Wisconsin municipalities that are being awarded these grants. This is in addition to the $45 million in overall pandemic relief that was made in Vernon County. More than 400,000 in support of local farms and businesses, and the recent dreamup child care grant that La Farge received earlier this year, and today’s $1 million award will help make the needed improvements on Maine and Mill Street.”

Missy Hughes – Secretary of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Secretary Missy Hughes used to work at Organic Valley and knows the community well.

“It’s incredibly important for Governor Evers to know that you’re working to make these investments really go as far as they can,” said Hughes “As as the president (Quinn) said it is an opportunity here in LaFarge to put these dollars to work in ways that you don’t have other opportunities. So once this infrastructure is built, once these foundations are put in place, that’s when Economic Development can really happen. And in my role at WEDC, at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, we are thrilled when communities are doing this work to create this foundation of strong infrastructure because it means that you’re really thinking about the future, and we can help plan with you.”

State Senator Brad Pfaff the improvements the village has been doing are typical of Western Wisconsin communities.

Brad Pfaff – State Senator 32nd District

“I grew up in rural Western Wisconsin here and I understand the pride that comes in living in a rural area,” said Pfaff. “I understand the strength of hard work, the resilience, the overall sense of community that all of you have towards your neighbors, towards one another. I recognize that when times are tough you put aside your differences, and you come together. You know on the farm that I grew up on, just like where many of you are from, it didn’t matter if your next door neighbor was a Republican or a Democrat. The end of the day when the cows got out we came together in order to put the cows in. That’s how we do do things here in Western Wisconsin. That’s how we do things here in rural areas.”

Following the presentation of the grant check, State Senator Brad Pfaff presented Village President Frank Quinn with a flag that had been flown over the State Capitol.

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