WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski, together with U.S. Representative John Delaney (all D-Md.), today announced that the Town of Westernport has been awarded $2.2 million in federal grants and $600,000 in federal loans to install a new water system and water tank. The new tank will improve service for more than 1,144 households and 45 businesses in Allegany County.
“Our water infrastructure supports our daily lives in a way that few other things do,” said Senator Cardin, a Senior Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and author of a comprehensive package of legislation to update America’s water infrastructure. “We ignore needed upgrades in water infrastructure at our own peril, and substantial investments like these that improve people’s lives in Westernport should be applauded — and duplicated throughout Allegany County
“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. That’s what these federal grants and loans are about. They will help with construction jobs today by building the new water system and tank. And they will help the people and businesses of Westernport, Luke and Bloomington well into the future by providing clean, reliable water service. I’ve always fought for the people of Western Maryland. I’m on their side and always will be.”
“Here’s the bottom line: thanks to these federal grants 1,144 households and 45 businesses in Allegany County will have improved water service. This new project in Westernport is a partnership between federal, state and local agencies that should improve public health and greatly benefit the local community and is a prime example of why I’m focused on bringing more infrastructure funding to Western Maryland,” said Congressman Delaney, who is the author of the Infrastructure 2.0 Act, which provides state and local governments with financing for new transportation, energy, education and water infrastructure projects. “The pipes, pumps and tanks that bring us our water are often out of sight, but improving and expanding our water infrastructure is a major issue that demands attention.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Rural Development (USDA-RD) awarded the Town of Westernport a $1,000,000 grant and a $600,000 loan. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $800,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded the town $400,000. These federal funds will be used to install a 750,000 gallon water storage tank and pump station, as well as 8,500 linear feet of waterline. The new tank will improve water service to 1,144 households and 45 businesses. It will bring new water service to 12 households. As a result of the additional capacity, the Town of Westernport will be able to provide new water service to the Towns of Bloomington and Luke.
The USDA Rural Development grant program was created to improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. The program helps support essential services and infrastructure improvements, and promotes economic development by supporting loans to businesses through banks and community-managed lending pools.
ARC is a federal-state partnership that promotes economic development in 13 states throughout the Appalachian region. In 2014, Maryland received $4.7 million in ARC funding, including $1.8 million for 18 local projects and $2.9 million for access road construction.
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