Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan Visits Colorado, Highlights Job Creation and Environmental Benefits of Recovery Act Funding for the Town of Wiggins | USDA Newsroom
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News Release

Release No. 0534.10
Amy Mund 720-544-2906

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Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan Visits Colorado, Highlights Job Creation and Environmental Benefits of Recovery Act Funding for the Town of Wiggins

WIGGINS, Colo., Oct. 18, 2010 –Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan highlighted a rural Colorado project today that will create or save an estimated 50 jobs and improve the quality of drinking water for almost 200 rural households. Merrigan was joined by Rural Development State Director Jim Isgar, and Wiggins Mayor Mike Bates as she highlighted the benefits of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act).

"All across the nation, the Recovery Act is putting people to work and changing lives," said Merrigan. "This water and wastewater project is just one of over 850 projects across the country that will improve environmental quality, public health and provide services that make a town more attractive to prospective business development."

The Town of Wiggins, located 70 miles northeast of Denver, will receive Recovery Act support to improve the existing water system by drilling a new well to produce a low nitrate water supply and prevent the clogging of valves and mains. New pumps, a pump station, treatment equipment and pipelines will be installed, and water rights will be purchased. The funds will also be used to construct required augmentation ponds. When complete, the new system will serve 191 households in Wiggins and will end the practice of residents having to buy bottled water or maintain individual treatment systems. The Recovery Act award, which totals $5,579,000 was previously announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

"The project is an excellent example of how collaboration among our rural communities can truly be beneficial," said Isgar. "I am especially proud that this project was funded through the Recovery Act and will create fresh economic activity and job creation and help lay a long-term foundation for economic growth."

President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009. The funding is being provided through the USDA Rural Development Water and Environmental Program which provides loans, grants and loan guarantees for drinking water, sanitary sewer, solid waste and storm drainage facilities in rural areas and cities and towns of 10,000 or less. Public bodies, non-profit organizations and recognized Indian tribes may qualify for assistance.

USDA Rural Development's mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. Rural Development provides financing to foster growth in homeownership, business development and critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at any of Colorado's six local USDA Rural Development offices or by visiting the web site at


USDA Rural Development is an Equal Opportunity Lender, Provider, and Employer. Complaints of discrimination should be sent to: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410.