Governor Tony Evers today announced $8 million in grants for Rice Lake, Altoona, Menomonie, and Eau Claire as part of the Neighborhood Investment Fund grant program. These funds will be used to improve downtown infrastructure and pedestrian safety, promote business development initiatives, and support local affordable housing and shelter needs.

“From expanding affordable housing options to strengthening infrastructure and revitalizing our main streets, this grant program was designed to connect the dots in our communities to ensure they recover and succeed for years to come,” said Gov. Evers. “So I am thrilled to be awarding these funds today to support the good work folks are doing in Rice Lake, Altoona, Menomonie, and Eau Claire to collaborate together to tackle the needs in their communities.” 

Of the awardees announced today, the city of Rice Lake will use a $3,157,057 grant to make improvements to their Main Street corridor that will provide a safe route within the city for all users and revitalize the city’s historic downtown. The city of Altoona will use a $1,377,435 grant to redevelop two downtown properties into an office, restaurant, and retail incubator hub to bolster Altoona’s downtown and create a unique regional attraction for residents and visitors. Additionally, through a $1,433,093 grant, the city of Menomonie will build a 20-bed shelter facility to help address homelessness in the community. Finally, the city of Eau Claire will use $2.5 million in grants support two projects that address affordable housing and shelter needs in the local community, including $1 million to support the development of the Cannery Trail Residence Phase II, a 43-unit affordable housing development in downtown Eau Claire, and $1.5 million for the expansion of the Catholic Charities Sojourner House to provide emergency shelter for an additional 28 homeless adults and youth in the community.

Part of a nearly $650 million investment allocated by the governor for community building and recovery efforts statewide, the Neighborhood Investment Fund program was announced in August 2021 and is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA). Grants being awarded range in size from $1 million to a maximum of $15 million and are funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Applications opened on Sept. 30, 2021, and closed on Nov. 11, 2021. Additional information can be found on the program website. A full list of grant recipients of the Neighborhood Investment Fund program will be announced later this week.

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Steve Hanson

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Consortium, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley

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