Community forester Kim Bomberger, of the Kansas Forest Service,
and Rod Straub, Osage County Extension agent, prepare the roots
of a Shumard oak before it is planted in Burlingame’s Sumner
BURLINGAME—As people around the world celebrated Earth
Day Friday, citizens in Burlingame celebrated infrastructure projects
that will improve their hometown.
In honor of Earth Day, USDA Rural Development recognized the city
of Burlingame for investing in its future by partnering with the
agency to improve the city’s sewer system. Those who attended
the April 22 celebration first gathered in the city’s Sumner
Park, where two Shumard oaks and one red oak tree were planted
with instruction by Kim Bomberger, district community forester
with the Kansas Forest Service.
The federal government is providing the city with a $1.65 million
loan and $550,000 grant for the second phase of the sewer project,
and the Kansas Department of Commerce is providing a $500,000
community development block grant.
The city began repairing the sewer system in 2010, and received
an $890,000 loan from USDA Rural Development by utilizing American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. In addition to the federal
funds, the initial project also received a $500,000 community
development block grant.
The total amount provided by the state and federal government
is $4.09 million.
From the park, the celebration moved to the Schuyler Museum annex,
where cake and beverages were served.
USDA Rural Development Manhattan Area Director Philip Neary addressed
those at the celebration.
“By making the needed improvements to the sewer system today,
the city of Burlingame is helping to improve the quality of life
for its citizens for many years to come,” Neary said. “Every
day we face serious challenges to our nation’s resources,
and USDA Rural Development can assist communities in confronting
these challenges. We live in a beautiful state and I urge each
of you to use today to think about what you can do in your daily
life to support preservation and restoration of our natural resources.”
Other government officials attending the event were state Rep.
Willie Prescott, Burlingame Mayor Ray Hovestadt, Burlingame City
Council members Carolyn Strohm and Vikki DeMars, Burlingame City
Clerk Patti Gilbert, Osage County Economic Development Director
Stephanie Watson, and Osage County Extension Agent Rod Straub.