USDA awards $4 million in grants, loans to new Village of Maine - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

USDA awards $4 million in grants, loans to new Village of Maine

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BROKAW (WAOW) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $4 million in grants and loans to the Village of Maine to make improvements to Brokaw's water system, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., said Monday.

The rural development money includes a $2.89 million grant and $1.2 million loan to help solve Brokaw's financial troubles following the closure of the Wausau Paper mill, Baldwin said.

"This investment will help Brokaw continue recovering and rebuilding, while providing the clean water that our rural communities deserve," she said in a statement.

The money will improve the water system in Brokaw and Maine, which has faced water quality, efficiency and freezing issues since the mill closing.

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Brokaw is some $3 million in debt from changes to its water system and has been looking for ways to solve the problem after a Wausau Paper mill, the biggest water user, closed in 2012 and eliminated hundreds of jobs. One was to merge with nearby Maine and Texas but neither could take on Brokaw's debt.

The vote to make Maine a village gave that government more flexibility to handle the debt, including grants and other state assistance, authorities said at the time.

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