Since 1992, WISCAP’s Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP) has provided training and technical assistance to low- and moderate-income rural communities on matters and issues related to water and wastewater systems planning, development, and management. RCAP services are available at no-cost to localities that:
- have low to moderate incomes;
- are rural villages, towns, sanitary districts or tribal communities;
- have populations less than 10,000 people; and
- need to resolve drinking water and/or wastewater treatment problems or have system development needs.
Small cities, towns, villages, sanitary districts and tribal communities have benefitted from RCAP assistance with over 400 projects completed to date. During 2011, RCAP staff provided assistance to 36 communities implementing 47 water/wastewater projects. Through this work, RCAP was able to leverage $3.65 million in federal funds for 5 Wisconsin communities: the Village of Bruce (Rusk County); the City of Mellen (Ashland County); the Town of Mercer (Iron County); the City of Shell Lake (Washburn County); and the Westboro Sanitary District (Taylor County). Additionally, WISCAP’s Tribal Circuit Rider Program provides services and technical assistance to all 11 Wisconsin tribes.
In November of 2011, a new WISCAP program, Community Development Services (CDS), was initiated. CDS offers education, training and technical assistance to rural Wisconsin communities, on a fee-for-service basis, in the planning, development and management of community facilities (beyond water/wastewater). CDS builds community staff capacity and expertise to develop, implement, and manage community development projects in the areas of housing, downtown development and public facilities (i.e., city/town/village halls, police/fire stations, community centers, health care facilities and libraries).
WISCAP’s CDS program also partners with USDA Rural Development in the promotion of Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program, making unprecedented amounts of funding available at unprecedented, low, long-term interest rates.