WASHINGTON – United States Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressman David Trone (all D-Md.) today announced a USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal grant of $343,500 to Allegany County for updates to the North Branch Pump Station outside of Cumberland, Maryland. The efficient and functional operations of this pump station are critical to the local residents and industrial users it serves. These funds will be used for modernization of equipment which has not undergone any major improvements since its original construction over 25 years ago.
“Ensuring that all Marylanders have access to safe, clean water and sanitation in their homes is essential to public health, especially during this global pandemic,” said Senator Cardin. “This additional federal funding will get this urgently-needed project over the finish line. I will continue to fight for investments in infrastructure statewide, and especially in rural areas of the state.”
“Access to clean water is vital to public health and investing in our infrastructure makes that a reality. This grant will allow Allegany County to get this project over the finish line and provide North Branch Pump Station with much-needed upgrades to protect the health of nearby residents. This pandemic has shone a spotlight on the many public health needs of our communities and we will continue fighting for federal resources to support Maryland’s clean water infrastructure,“ said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Appropriations and Environment and Public Works Committees.
“Right now the last thing any Maryland family should be worried about is how they will access safe, clean water and sanitation services,” said Congressman Trone. “I’ve heard from folks across Allegany County and Western Maryland that we need to continue making significant infrastructure investments across the region, and this grant is a good start. I will continue to work with state and local partners to secure more investment for the region.”
In March of last year, the lawmakers announced initial funding for the upgrade including $700,000 through the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), $1,092,000 through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development program, and $118,000 from Allegany County. These additional USDA funds became necessary for the completion of the project after the bids received were higher than the engineer’s original estimated costs.
The USDA Rural Development program was created to support economic development and social services in rural communities across America. Rural Development initiatives promote economic development by supporting essential services and infrastructure improvements throughout the region.