WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced Talbot County and the Town of Easton have been awarded a $1.65 million public works grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) to help pay to build a new wastewater treatment line crucial to the construction of a new regional medical center in Talbot County. Senator Cardin is a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee as well as the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. Senator Mikulski is also Chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the Department of Commerce.
The funds will be used to help pay for the construction of four miles of wastewater line needed to build the new University of Maryland Medical System and Shore Health System regional medical center in Talbot County to replace the outdated Easton Memorial Hospital. The total cost of the wastewater line is expected to be $3.3 million.
This infrastructure investment is expected to help Talbot County retain 2,100 jobs, including more than 1,700 jobs of people living in Dorchester, Talbot and Caroline counties. Specifically, 538 of these jobs are within the most distressed Dorchester County. Over the next 10 years, the medical center is expected to create another 80 jobs. And the wastewater line is being built at a higher capacity than needed for the new medical center, so it can support additional new businesses that could generate up to 250 jobs.
“Modern, reliable water infrastructure is essential to maintaining and advancing public health, our economy, and the environment. Clean water, jobs and growth do not just happen; they require a commitment of resources in the right projects. This grant will do just that — funding well-paying jobs and improving the quality of life for the residents and businesses in Talbot County and the Town of Easton,” said Senator Cardin.
“This is smart spending that sustains and creates jobs and protects community health in Talbot County and across the Mid-Shore,” Chairwoman Mikulski said. “This grant means the Mid-Shore will have the infrastructure it needs to keep the medical center from moving existing jobs outside of the region. This grant also creates construction jobs today and private sector jobs tomorrow. And it protects community health by keeping this medical center in the region so the people of the Mid-Shore – especially children and seniors – will continue to have access to the health care they need.”
The existing infrastructure at the site of the new regional medical center is not of sufficient size to convey wastewater from both the existing Talbot County Community Center and the proposed regional medical center to the Easton Wastewater System. The new wastewater line will help avoid local contamination of drinking water.
EDA serves as a resource to meet the economic development needs of distressed communities throughout the United States. EDA promotes innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the global economy. For more information, visit http://www.eda.gov/AboutEDA/AbtEDA.xml.