October 24, 2014

Cardin, Mikulski Announce More Than $7.3 Million In Federal Funds To Upgrade Critical Water And Wastewater Infrastructure In Kent County

Infrastructure upgrades will support Kent County jobs, protect public safety and protect Eastern Shore ratepayers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced Kent County and the Town of Galena have been awarded $7,308,000 in federal funds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development to upgrade critical water and wastewater infrastructure.

“Investing in Kent County’s water and wastewater infrastructure is the right thing to do for public health, for the health of the Chesapeake Bay and to save energy, but it also creates local jobs and supports economic growth,” said Senator Cardin. “Water infrastructure provides a foundation for economic activity in every community across this nation. But our systems are aging and cannot withstand the demands being placed upon them. Local governments on the Eastern Shore and across Maryland need federal support to upgrade their water infrastructure and USDA Rural Development funds are helping that happen.”

“My promises made are promises kept. I went to bat for Kent County to secure these funds in the federal checkbook to make needed upgrades and updates to critical water and sewer infrastructure,” Senator Mikulski said. “Eastern Shore communities need to upgrade their water and sewer infrastructure, but they can’t do it on their own. They need a government on their side. I will continue to fight for smart federal funding that communities can use to wash away the rust and decay of crumbling water infrastructure and create jobs, protect public safety, protect the environment including the health of the Chesapeake Bay, and protect ratepayers.”

The Town of Galena in Kent County will receive a $2,083,000 grant and a $694,000 loan through the Wastewater Disposal Loan and Grant program to upgrade and expand the existing Galena Wastewater Treatment Plant. The upgrade will include Enhanced Nutrient Removal and Biological Nutrient Removal (ENR/BNR) treatment, significantly reducing nutrient loading to the Chesapeake ecosystem.  The expansion of the facility will provide wastewater treatment for the existing Galena sewer system and will also provide treatment for three Kent County service areas – Georgetown, Mapewood Lane and Lee Avenue.  A combined total of 348 residential homes and businesses will be serviced.  

The Kent County Board of Commissioners will receive a $3,368,000 grant and a $1,163,000 loan through the Water and Waste Disposal program to construct the collection and conveyance system for Georgetown, Maplewood Lane and Lee Avenue located in Kent County and the connection to Galena’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.  The existing septic systems in this region are aging and not meeting current requirements, due to high water levels in the soil.  A combined total of 108 residential homes and businesses will be serviced.

In addition to the funding announced today, the Kent County Board of Commissioners received a $950,000 grant and a $476,000 loan through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program in August 2014. Those funds will be used to extend a water main from the end of the existing Georgetown/Fairlee water system to serve the Delta Heights area near Tolchester. This targeted project will serve 30 homes.

USDA Rural Development was created to improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. Rural Development programs help support essential services and infrastructure improvements, and promotes economic development by supporting loans to businesses through banks and community-managed lending pools.

Senator Cardin is Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Water and Wildlife Subcommittee. Senator Mikulski is Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee that funds USDA Rural Development programs. Together they understand the economic, environmental and quality of life benefits of investing in infrastructure.