WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced $5,226,000 in federal grants and $4,670,000 in loans through the USDA Rural Development Water and Wastewater Disposal Program will be used to upgrade water and wastewater infrastructure in four Maryland towns and one senior community. This funding was made available through the 2014 Farm Bill, which both Senators Cardin and Mikulski supported. Senator Cardin is Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Water and Wildlife Subcommittee. As Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Mikulski funds USDA Rural Development programs. Together they understand the economic, environmental and quality of life benefits of investing in infrastructure.
“Whether you are in an urban or rural setting, all Marylanders deserve to know that the water coming out of the spigot is clean and safe,” said Senator Cardin. “Providing reliably safe infrastructure is becoming more and more difficult as our existing systems age. Grants like this from USDARD are investments in rural Maryland that pay dividends in public health, economic growth and future expansion.”
“Maryland cities and towns need to upgrade their water and sewer infrastructure but they can’t do it on their own,” Senator Mikulski said. “Rural communities need a government on their side. These funds in the federal checkbook will create construction jobs today that will build a modernized infrastructure to keep communities healthy and safe in the future.”
The following jurisdictions and organization will receive funding:
- The Town of Queenstown in Queen Anne’s County will receive a $621,000 grant and $500,000 loan to increase capacity at its wastewater treatment plant. The existing plant was constructed in 1970 and upgraded in 1986. The town has been experiencing growth constraints for many years due to its sewer plant capacity problems. In its current condition, the plant is in danger of overflowing and has exceeded the current design flow. These funds will increase capacity at the plant to relieve the Town’s growth constraints, and will prevent the plant from overflowing into the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
- The Towns of Greensboro and Goldsboro in Caroline County will receive a $1,000,000 grant and a $100,000 loan to regionalize the collection, conveyance and wastewater treatment facilities in the area. This will address the towns’ long-standing public health and sanitary concerns and will serve 800 residential and non-residential properties in the Towns of Greensboro and Goldsboro.
- The Town of Oxford in Talbot County will receive a $1,935,000 grant and a $1,964,000 loan to upgrade its Waste Water Treatment Plant to Biological Nutrient Removal treatment standards. The facilities were constructed in 1961 and upgraded in the early 80s, but the facilities’ age makes it difficult to maintain NPDES requirements. This funding will enable the Town of Oxford to maintain NPDES standards year round.
- Wicomico County will receive a $1,500,000 grant and a $1,100,000 loan to install a water main distributing system in the Morris Mill Area. Currently, some of the wells in the area are contaminated. These funds will alleviate the health and sanitary concerns of the contaminated wells by enabling Wicomico County to correct the issue and restore access to safe drinking water.
- The Fahrney-Keedy Memorial Home, Inc. in Washington County serves a retirement community that provides housing, health care and related services to 479 units. It will receive a $291,000 grant and an $885,000 loan to upgrade its water system to meet Maryland COMAR regulations for nursing homes and Maryland Department of Environment permit requirements.
These projects are part of a larger USDA investment in rural water and wastewater systems. The Department provided nearly $387 million in federal funds to 116 recipients in 40 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The Department is providing $150 million in grants through the 2014 Farm Bill, and $237 million in loans and grants from USDA’s Water and Environmental Program.
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