Did you know it's National Groundwater Awareness Week?
New RCAP Videos
RCAP has produced videos to accompany some of their newly-published guides. These short, informative videos provide a brief overview of what you'll find inside and how you can best utilize the information. Watch the videos below, then visit our Guides and Publications page to download your own PDF copy of the guides.
USDA and the Obama Administration: Working to Meet the Needs of Rural Homeowners
A new joint issue of HAC's Rural Voices and RCAP's Rural Matters features a story by Undersecretary Dallas Tonsager, USDA Rural Development. While US housing activity has been in the news lately, USDA Rural Development continues to work diligently with credit-worthy residents to help them achieve their goals. The mission of Rural Development's Rural Housing Service (RHS) is to create vibrant, thriving rural communities, a strong housing stock, access to safe, decent and affordable rental housing and access to high quality essential community infrastructure. To read Undersecretary Tonsager's full story, click here.
Nebraska Village Expresses Gratitude to MAP Staff
For the past 10 months, MAP Technical Assistance Provider, Gregg Hinrichsen has been assisting the Village of Kenesaw in Nebraska. MAP received a letter from Kenesaw stating, "Gregg guided and supported the Village to complete an income survey, and has been extremely helpful in sharing his great source of knowledge to our new Sewer Department Superintendent. Gregg helped to identify problems and assisted with implementing a plan for our wastewater treatment facility, and gave guidance when we needed to complete our discharge monitoring reports. Gregg's assistance has contributed to a substantial cost savings for the Village of Kenesaw and has possibly eliminated the need for an additional lagoon."
The Village Board of Trustees and Staff were so appreciative of the assistance Hinrichsen provided that they sent a donation to MAP as a thank you to the organization, and specifically for Gregg's contribution to their community.
Donations can be directed to MAP, a 501(c)(3) non-profit by clicking here. Thanks to the Village of Kenesaw for their generous contribution!
RCAP Produces Three New Guides
The Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) has produced three new guidebooks to assist small, rural communities in the management and operations of their drinking water and wastewater systems:
- Sustainable Infrastructure for Small System Public Services: A Planning and Resource Guide
- Formulate Great Rates: The Guide to Conducting a Rate Study for a Water System
- Getting Your Project to Flow Smoothly: A Guide to Developing Water and Wastewater Infrastructure
The Fall Issue of the SOURCE is
The Fall 2011 issue of MAP's newsletter, the SOURCE, is now available! Click on the image below to read the current issue. If you'd like to subscribe to receive an electronic copy of future issues via e-mail, click here.
MAP Needs Your Support!
The benefits of adequate water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities are numerous, and due to potential funding cuts to the programs through which we receive federal funding, MAP's ability to provide technical assistance to those communities is in jeopardy. Please click on the link to sign the 2012 Community Support letter to help ensure that the programs we compete for are fully funded to allow us to continue to improve the quality of life in rural America.
Baucus states White House Rural Council should considerably
Senator Max Baucus of Montana recently stated he approves of the intentions of the recently formed White House Rural Council (WHRC), saying it should create jobs for rural residents and help businesses grow. Click here for full story...
Obama Administration Establishes White House Rural Council to Strengthen Rural Communities
On June 9th the White House announced the establishment of the first White House Rural Council. While rural communities face challenges, they also present economic potential. To address these challenges, build on the Administration's rural economic strategy, and improve the implementation of that strategy, the President signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Rural Council. Click here for complete story.
Rural communities needing financial assistance after the storm or trouble financing a water or wastewater project? The Midwest Assistance Program in partnership with Community Resource Group's Loan Fund for Water and Wastewater Lending can help
The purpose of the MAP/CRG Loan Fund is to help small, rural communities and tribal nations in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming:
• Meet compliance requirements for public drinking water and wastewater regulations;
• Improve public health and system security;
• Extend service to new customers or improve service to existing customers;
• Create opportunities for economic development; and
• Conduct pre-development activities that allow them to qualify for longer-term financing.
The MAP/CRG Loan Fund offers flexible products to meet your community's or tribal nation's needs, including:
• Pre-development loans;
• Interim financing;
• Construction loans and system improvements; and
• Equipment loans
Nonprofit corporations or local government units may borrow if they:
• Serve a significant number of low-income customers;
• Are rural communities of less than 20,000;
• Can repay the loan with system revenues; and
• Are willing to accept no-cost technical assistance if it will improve the system's ability to repay the loan.
If you have additional questions or need more information, please contact the CRG web site:http://www.crg.org
Or you may contact:
Senior Loan Officer
Community Resource Group, Inc.
3 East Colt Square Drive
Fayetteville, AR 72703
Phone: (479) 443-2700 ext. 114
Fax: (479) 442-5937
Director of Lending
Community Resource Group, Inc.
3 East Colt Square Drive
Fayetteville, AR 72703
Phone: (479) 443-2700 ext. 111
Fax: (479) 442-5937
Loan Terms and Conditions
Amounts up to $250,000, terms up to 10 years. Interest rates are dependent on terms. Please call for the current interest rates.
Security: Varies by customer, typically a pledge of revenues.
Origination fee: ($100 minimum): 1% of the amount borrowed
Other costs: Out-of-pocket expenses for attorneys fees, filing fees, etc. (generally less than $100 for most loans)
Since most small systems have outstanding long-term debt, the security available for the loans may be subordinate to existing debt.
To fill out an application for the CRG Loan Fund, visit www.crg.org and click Lending , then click the link to print the application. Visit the "Contact Us" page to find a Technical Assistance Provider to help you fill out the application if needed. Once the application and supporting documentation are provided to CRG:
1. You will discuss the project with a Technical Assistance Provider, the Loan Officer or the Director of Lending.
2. The Loan Officer and Loan Committee will review your application package and make a decision within two weeks.
3. Closing of the approved loan will take place as soon as possible.
Musselshell River overflows banks in Roundup, MT
MAP Staff Assisting the Crow Reservation in Montana with Flooding Issues at their Water Treatment Plants
Josh Myers, MAP Technical Assistance Provider, has been working on-site at the Crow Reservation water treatment plants that had to be shut down due to severe flooding from the Little Bighorn River this week. When Myers arrived they had about 2 feet of water at the water treatment plants and both were shut down. They are in the process of disinfecting the water system to get them back up and running. The Montana Department of Transportation has reopened I-90 that had been closed for a few days, providing much needed supplies to many communities that had been cut off. Unfortunately, more rain is predicted for the area over the next few days. More information can be found by visiting the Billings Gazette website. (May 26, 2011)
Floodwater from the Little Bighorn River covers Interstate 90 near Crow Agency on Sunday
Floodwaters cover the intersection of Highway 212 and westbound Interstate 90. The nearest building in the background is the new Crow Agency casino.
Water/Wastewater Training Event Held at MAP's Central Office
MAP's Central Office in New Prague, MN was pleased to host a training on May 10th for water and wastewater operators and staff. The workshop was presented by MAP Technical Assistance Providers, Jason Gorr and Pete Smith, along with presentations given by Dave Bloch, Electric Pump, and Rick Wanner, American Flow Control. The workshop consisted of operator safety, communication system options for small communities, data translation, and operation and maintenance for valves and hydrants. A total of six communities participated in the interactive workshop. To search for upcoming training workshops in your area, visit the training page or MAP's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/map-inc.org.
New Wastewater Project in
Carrollton, MO Will Benefit Many
MAP assisted Carrollton, MO with writing the Environmental Report necessary to upgrade their wastewater collection and treatment system. Twice in 2009 they battled sewer mains leaking into Standley Branch Creek, a tributary of the Wakenda Creek, and notices of violation were issued by Missouri Department of Natural Resources as a result of this contamination. This project will replace those faulty wastewater transmission mains with a $2,034,000 loan and $1,913,600 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development. The project will also improve the wastewater treatment plant which was designed for a much larger volume of waste collection and treatment. When a large company left the community in the late 1980's, it resulted in different flows and loadings for the sewer treatment plant. This project will improve the efficiency, operability and performance of the plant by modifying processes to match existing flows and loadings. It will also provide disinfection and allow the town to meet the proposed effluent limits set by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The project will provide efficient, dependable wastewater treatment for the 4,211 residents of Carrollton resulting in environmental improvements in the town and the health of local residents.
Major Spring Flooding Likely in Much of MAP's Nine-State Region
Is your water supply protected?
For the third consecutive year, forecasters predict moderate to major flooding in much of MAP's nine-state region. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) flood forecasters gauge flood risk by examining the impacts of precipitation, groundwater conditions, stream flow, snow conditions and weather forecasts. In March and April, as temperatures rise and the snow melts, frozen ground and saturated soil will enhance runoff, causing streams and rivers to swell. The timing and the rate of snow melt and any rain that falls during snow melt contribute to the magnitude and extent of flooding. The map below shows the current U.S. spring flood risk.
This is a good reminder to make sure that back-up equipment is working properly and that your community emergency response plan is up to date. If you do not currently have an emergency response plan in place, MAP does have employees in place who can assist you.
For private well owners, the Minnesota Department of Health has issued a news release that urges private water well owners in flood prone areas to take precautions - before and after flooding. Click here to view the full release which addresses steps to take if you think your well may become flooded, and making sure your well is safe after flood waters have receded.
The NOAA website offers links to view current flood outlooks, monitor local flood conditions, and learn more about FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program.
MAP Announces Five-year ROI on
The Midwest Assistance Program (MAP) has completed its five year federal funding analysis and reports a strong return on its public investment. MAP has served 1.1 million individuals at a cost of $16.41 each over five years. In addition, the $18.3 million of public funds secured by MAP during that same time period has assisted communities by leveraging $424 million of additional monies to achieve safe quality drinking water, wastewater and solid waste for infrastructure improvements and projects to these low income, rural communities.
"We are extremely pleased with these results which confirms that a relatively small amount of public dollars can both leverage large amounts of additional funding and serve individuals at minimal costs. Improving the lives of rural citizens by supporting their public infrastructure that is safe, healthy, environmentally sound and compliant is what our 40 staff in nine mid-western states do every day. We are proud of our work and our staff, " says Marcie McLaughlin, MAP CEO.
Midwest Assistance Program Announces Awards for Longtime Employees, Siders and Calvert
Midwest Assistance Program, Inc. (MAP) is pleased to announce that two of its own have been recognized with two distinct awards by the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP).
H.B. Calvert, a technical assistance provider with MAP serving Iowa and Northern Missouri, was named to the RCAP Hall of Fame. Inductees to the Hall of Fame have made significant positive contributions to RCAP over the course of their service. Calvert has been with MAP for nearly 20 years. His dedication to MAP and to the communities of Iowa and Missouri was celebrated November 30th at the RCAP National Conference in Washington, DC. Calvert is based in Fort Madison, Iowa.
Dennis Siders, a Regional Director with MAP was recognized with RCAP's Outstanding Mentor Award. RCAP knows few jobs are as important as teaching and mentoring new technical assistance providers and helping them become productive members of the RCAP team. Siders started with MAP as a technical assistance provider in 1992 and later became Associate Director of Training in 2004. He was more recently promoted to Regional Director in 2006.
"H.B. and Dennis have worked together both as colleagues and friends for many years. Their innovation, energy, patience and knowledge has been valued by not only by the communities that they served, but also the staff they have mentored. MAP and RCAP are grateful for their service," said MAP CEO, Marcie McLaughlin.
MAP CEO Presented with "George Autry Award"
Marcie McLaughlin, MAP CEO was recognized by the Rural Community College Alliance at their National Conference in Portland, Oregon with the "George Autry Award" for exemplary service to rural communities, specifically rural colleges. This is the only award given out each year by the RCCA and its members as a true recognition of a person who has gone above and beyond in promoting and supporting rural America. Marcie served for two years as the interim director of RCCA while the organization was in transition and because of her leadership is much stronger today. Dr. Phil Sutphin, President of East Central Community College, Mississippi and chair of RCCA presented the award, a hand crafted sculpture, "The Trail of Painted Ponies".
MAP Board Meets and Celebrates the Service of Two Retiring Board Members
The MAP Board of Directors met for its annual retreat this past weekend. Many items were considered and one, embarking on a policy governance model, was presented and adopted. After much hard business work, the board adjourned to New Prague’s Shumacher's Restaurant for dinner and celebration of the service of board members Gloria Askin and Shari Weber after over twenty years of combined service to MAP.
Pictured at left are MAP Board members: (top) Richard Bernt, Richard Cavendar; (middle) John Woodwick, Cheryl Boles, Linda Salmonson; (front) Shari Weber, Joyce Powell, Gloria Askin
USDA News Release:
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announces Recovery Act funding to improve water system infrastructure, health and sanitation in rural communities, several of which have been or are currently being served by MAP. Click here for full announcement.
MAP Hosts USDA Rural Development and Other Invited Guests at the New Prague, MN Central Office
The meeting in New Prague culminated visits made this past week by MAP CEO and staff to their partners and major funder, USDA Rural Development. At these meetings with the USDA State Directors and their program staff in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota, the annual plans for MAP Technitrain and other programs were developed.
Midwest Assistance Program CEO, Marcie McLaughlin, and Regional Director, Dennis Siders, welcomed Minnesota USDA Rural Development State Director, Colleen Landkamer (2nd from left), and Business and Community Programs Director, Terry Louwagie (far right), to their New Prague office for a program briefing.
McLaughlin and Chaz Johnson, Congressman John Kline's office, discuss opportunities for district communities.
Phillip Fishburn, MAP Technical Assistance Provider, Recognized by USDA RD for Outstanding Service
Phillip Fishburn, MAP Technical Assistance Provider, Kansas, was commended for his work in Board Training and Community Readiness by Patty Clark, Director, USDA Rural Development, Kansas.
Revitalizing Rural Communities
To motorists speeding by on the interstate or state highway, small towns may look idyllic. Yet many communities and tribal nations face seemingly overwhelming challenges and few resources to overcome them. However, through individualized support from Midwest Assistance Program, Inc., they find the solutions that will help revitalize their communities.
Welcome to Midwest Assistance Program’s Web site. It’s been designed to provide you with the information, programs, services and support you need to find solutions to your community’s challenges.
Midwest Assistance Program, Inc., is dedicated to helping rural communities and tribal nations improve their environment, quality of life and achieve self-sustainability.
For resources and programs specific to your state, click on the map. For resources and programs specific to tribal nations, click here.