Press Release

June 23, 2023
Cardin, Van Hollen Announce $4.2 Million in Federal Funding for Maryland Rural Development Projects in Key Committee Legislation
Cardin, Van Hollen submitted funding requests on behalf of Maryland organizations

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Senator Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) announced the inclusion of $4,240,000 in direct federal funding for projects they requested within the Senate Appropriations Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Related Agencies Subcommittee’s proposed funding legislation for fiscal year 2024. The projects support development in rural communities, in areas ranging from education and conservation to public safety and infrastructure. This subcommittee legislation, released as part of the annual Congressional Appropriations process and approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday, will proceed to consideration before the full Senate. Funding is not finalized until the Appropriations bills are passed by the Senate, reconciled with the House of Representatives, and signed by the President.

“I’m proud to support funding for projects that will improve the economy and quality of life in rural Maryland,” said Senator Cardin. “These federal investments support essential services such as health care, outdoor education, first responder equipment, and communications infrastructure. Once finalized, they will make a difference in the day-to-day lives of Marylanders across our state.”

“In Congress, one of my top priorities is securing federal investments in our communities. With these funds, we’re investing in local infrastructure modernization, public safety improvements, critical education and mentoring services, and more. These projects make a real impact – and that’s why I’m determined to keep working to get this funding over the finish line,” said Senator Van Hollen.

These projects were included in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture’s FY2024 funding legislation. Additional projects will be announced as the Subcommittees continue to release their respective bills. 

Project Name: Adkins Arboretum Site Improvements

Applicant: Adkins Arboretum

Project Location: Caroline County

Amount Included: $260,000

Description: The Adkins Arboretum’s collection of 400 acres of native plants from the Mid-Atlantic Coastal region serves as a model of conservation and a place for visitors, including school groups, to enjoy trails and the outdoors. Funding will update amenities to better serve visitors.

Project Name: BAAM Academic Center

Applicant: Building African American Minds, Inc.

Project Location: Talbot County

Amount Included: $525,000

Description: Building African American Minds provides youth mentoring and services to Black students in Talbot County. Funds will be used to complete an academic center that will house staff offices and programs, including student afterschool and summer programs and career/workforce development.

Project Name: Bloomington Fire Company Building Expansion

Applicant: Bloomington Fire Company

Project Location: Garrett County

Amount Included: $150,000

Description: Funds will expand the fire station with extra space to store trucks and service equipment and expand and move lockers in order to serve the Bloomington community and surrounding areas more efficiently. The new structure will also offer a shelter for the community in the event of natural disaster.

Project Name: Garrett County Utilities Infrastructure Equipment

Applicant: Garrett County Board of Commissioners

Project Location: Garrett County

Amount Included: $525,000

Description: Funds will be used to purchase a hydro-excavator and associated equipment to allow Garrett County to perform public utility maintenance and repairs, install rural broadband, and respond to emergency situations more efficiently.

Project Name: Hampstead Fire Station and Emergency Shelter

Applicant: Hampstead Volunteer Fire Engine & Hose Company #1

Project Location: Carroll County

Amount Included: $2,000,000

Description: Funds will support the construction of a new fire station and event center to improve fire, rescue, and EMS services to Hampstead and surrounding communities in Carroll and Baltimore Counties. The event center will also serve as an emergency shelter with a backup generator.

Project Name: HOPE Center

Applicant: Foundation of HOPE, Inc.

Project Location: Talbot County

Amount Included: $630,000

Description: Foundation of HOPE works to mentor and empower middle school girls in Talbot County. Funds will be used to construct a new facility to house its offices and entrepreneurship and empowerment afterschool program, allowing it to serve 50% more students.

Project Name: Tri-Towns Emergency Medical Services Building Restoration

Applicant: Tri-Towns Emergency Medical Services

Project Location: Allegany County

Amount Included: $150,000

Description: Tri-Towns EMS serves over 100 square miles in Allegany and Garrett Counties in a building that is open to the public, including for walk-in care. Funds will upgrade the building to repair some damaged areas, operate more efficiently, and provide a safe space for walk-in patients.

Additional priorities secured by the Senators in the FY24 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies funding bill include:

  • Chesapeake Bay States Partnership Initiative (C-SPI) report language that recognizes the important role of voluntary conservation practices in restoring waterways especially when deployed at scale. The language supports USDA’s continuation of the C-SPI and encourages the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to target additional technical assistance to the most effective basin areas of the watershed to reduce agricultural runoff in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • $800.89 million for Conservation Technical Assistance, in which Natural Resources Conservation Service staff work one-on-one with farmers to conserve resources and prevent run-off. The bill also includes language expressing the Committee’s view that additional technical assistance should be provided to Critical Conservation Areas like the Chesapeake Bay Watershed because a lack of planning capacity can slow down projects in our region.
  • $56.411 million for the continued consolidation of the FDA campus in White Oak, Maryland to increase FDA’s efficiency and productivity.
  • Supporting FDA/Health and Human Services (HHS) coordination on medical supply chains to prevent shortages of crucial drugs – the bill includes language directing the FDA to coordinate with HHS and report on current domestic manufacturing of drugs on HHS’s Critical Drug List and dependence on international supply chains. The review may account for non-viability of certain components domestically.
  • $20 million for the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which helps low-income mothers and children purchase fruits and vegetables from local farmers.
  • Funding for programs at historically Black 1890 Land-Grant institutions like the University of Maryland Eastern Shore:
  1. Research: $89 million
  2. Extension Services: $72 million
  3. Education Grants: 30 million
  4. Facility Improvements: $21.5 million
  5. Scholarships: $10 million