Press Release

December 23, 2022
Cardin, Van Hollen Secure Over $15 Million in Direct Investments for Eastern Shore in Fiscal Year 2023 Funding Bill

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) today announced that they have secured $18,640,000 in direct federal funding for local projects on the Eastern Shore within the fiscal year 2023 omnibus funding legislation, which they voted to pass yesterday. The projects encompass a wide array of local and regional priorities, ranging from infrastructure improvements to education to community and workforce development. Overall, the Senators included over $200 million in federal dollars directly for Maryland within the legislation.

A full list of the funds included by Senator Cardin in the fiscal year 2023 appropriations legislation is here. A full list of the funds included by Senator Van Hollen in the legislation is here. Now that the legislation has passed the Senate, it is expected to be considered in the House later today prior to being sent to the President for his signature.

“These federal investments will directly address real needs in communities across Maryland. That’s why we secured these resources that support important local initiatives to boost economic opportunity, enhance public safety, and expand access to health care along with many other important services. I’ll keep working until we get this bill to the President’s desk so we can deliver these funds to our local partners who are ready to put them to good use making a meaningful impact in our communities,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Appropriations Committee.

“These earmarks advance long-planned and widely-supported projects for our nonprofit and faith-based communities, bolster environmental and green projects, support vulnerable citizens, enhance public safety and expand opportunities for students,” said Senator Cardin. “I am proud to announce these Congressionally Directed Spending projects that meet the direct needs of Marylanders.”

The funding announced by the Senators includes:

  • Nearly $6 million for infrastructure projects, including water damage protection along the Hoopers Island Causeway; water treatment system improvements in the Town of North East; Talbot County’s sewer extension and pump station project; several wastewater treatment plant improvements in Somerset County; and the Town of Centreville’s water/wastewater infrastructure renovation
  • $1.5 million for economic development through the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • $100,000 for affordable housing through Worcester County’s housing rehabilitation program
  • $645,000 for health care through the Lower Shore Clinic’s Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment Facility focused on services for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness and substance use disorders
  • Over $2.5 million for education and workforce development, including for Chesapeake College’s workforce training program; the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s mitigating geographic health disparities research; and oyster research at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
  • Over $2.5 million for community development, including air quality improvements at the Critchlow Adkins Children’s Center’s preschool; additions and restoration of Charlestown’s town hall; construction of the Leonard’s Lane Community Park in Cambridge and the Building African American Minds Academic Center for Black students in Talbot County; One Mission Cambridge’s Mission Center food pantry; Arc Central Chesapeake Region’s community center for individuals with disabilities; renovations at the St. Michaels Community Center; and the Talbot County Free Library’s St. Michaels Branch
  • $985,000 for agriculture through the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center’s Farm to Freezer project to help small and medium sized farms expand the reach of their products
  • $4 million for environmental protection through Chesapeake Bay oyster recovery funding for the Army Corps of Engineers

INFRASTRUCTURE

Project Name: Hoopers Island Causeway Breakwater and Bulkhead

Applicant: Army Corps of Engineers (Civil)

Description: Funds will be used to design and construct jetties along the Hoopers Island causeway on Chesapeake Bay side to protect the shoreline and prevent roadway and structure damage.

Project Location: Dorchester County, MD

Amount Included: $100,000

Project Name: Leslie Water Treatment Plant

Applicant: Town of North East

Description: When water is pumped from the Leslie Raw Water Pump Station to the raw water pond in the water treatment process, sediment is passed from the creek to the pond. When left to accumulate, the sediment in the raw water pond reduces the volume of water available for treatment and can lead to algae blooms and changes in the water’s pH level in warm summer months. Federal funds will allow the Town to dredge the sediment and inspect the pond structure to ensure future integrity.

Project Location: North East, MD

Amount Included: $500,000

Project Name: Sewer Extension Project and Royal Oak Pump Station Replacement

Applicant: Talbot County

Description: The Royal Oak Pump Station was constructed in 1992 and needs to be replaced to avoid a serious environmental impact near Oak Creek. The Talbot Sanitary District secured land to construct a new pump station in 2020. Federal funds will support the new pump station and connect hundreds of residences that currently use septic tanks to the sewer system.

Project Location: Royal Oak, MD

Amount Included: $911,000

Project Name: Smith Island Clean Water Project

Applicant: Somerset County, Maryland

Description: The existing Tylerton Wastewater Treatment Plant, which serves Ewell, Rhodes Point, and Tylerton, is out of environmental compliance and under a consent order. The steel tanks at the existing Ewell Wastewater Treatment Plant are badly corroded and the Smith Island sewer system is vulnerable to flooding. Federal funds would support upgrades to the Ewell Wastewater Treatment Plant, the decommissioning of the Tylerton Wastewater Treatment Plant, the construction of a new subaqueous force main to connect Tylerton to wastewater collection, environmental mitigation, and upgrades of the three wastewater pumping stations in the project area. The project will help protect water quality and estuarine ecosystems around Smith Island that support rockfish, crab, and oyster populations.

Project Location: Ewell, MD

Amount Included: $2,250,000

Project Name: Water/Wastewater Infrastructure Renovation and Upgrade

Applicant: Town of Centreville

Description: The Town of Centreville plans to upgrade their outdated wastewater treatment plant, which would increase environmental efficiency and expand capacity. The facility will also include a water reuse system to allow for use of treated water for on-site and potential future off-site uses. Federal funds will support the renovation.

Project Location: Centreville, MD

Amount Included: $2,155,000

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Project Name: UMES Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Applicant: University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Description: Funds will be used to convert underutilized facilities into a new Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UMES, which will provide entrepreneurial resources, business incubator spaces, a Maker’s Space, and educational facilities. Services will be free to the public, with the ultimate purpose of bringing economic development to the region and supporting minority-owned small businesses.

Project Location: Princess Anne, MD

Amount Included: $1,500,000

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Project Name: Worcester County Housing Rehabilitation Program

Applicant: Worcester County

Description of Proposal: Worcester County’s Housing Rehabilitation Program currently assists local homeowners by paying for housing rehabilitation costs. These federal funds will continue that effort to assist single family homeowners and rental properties with necessary rehabilitation projects to bring properties up to applicable building codes and standards, including roof replacements, lead abatement, accessibility features, energy efficient windows, and plumbing upgrades.

Project Location: Snow Hill, MD

Amount Included: $100,000

HEALTH CARE

Project Name: Lower Shore Clinic, Inc. Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment Facility

Applicant: Lower Shore Clinic, Inc.

Description of Proposal: The Lower Shore Clinic, Inc. Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment Facility provides wraparound care and services for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness and substance use disorders, who frequently have complex health needs. Funds will be used for 21 housing units among at least 7 houses throughout the tri-county area of Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties. These additional units will support the expansion of psychiatric rehabilitation services and the integration of Co-Occurring Outpatient Substance Use Treatment services.

Project Location: Salisbury, MD

Amount Included: $645,000

EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Project Name: Chesapeake College Workforce Training

Applicant: Chesapeake College

Description: Chesapeake College is an essential economic engine that provides vital training to students to improve employment prospects, drives local business, and fuels growth within the five-county service region of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The college offers a large selection of credit and continuing education classes designed to help students prepare for transfer to upper-level institutions, immediate entry into a career, or enhancement of work-related skills. Federal funds will support expansion of the welding program – a highly in-demand skill – with a Mobile Welding Training Lab designed to reach students where they live and work. Funds will also be used for the creation of an Advanced Manufacturing Program that will provide training in Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Plasma, Computer Numerical Control Router, 3D Printing, Universal Laser Systems and Robotics.

Project Location: Wye Mills, MD

Amount Included: $1,200,000

Project Name: Developing Aviation Tools and Training to Mitigate Geographic Health Disparities

Applicant: University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Description: Rural populations in the United States are often disconnected from necessary health resources, and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) have the potential to fill infrastructure gaps and connect these isolated communities. The UMES Developing Aviation Tools and Training to Mitigate Geographic Health Disparities project will use the capabilities of their existing Aviation Sciences program to pilot an effort to use UAS and associated technology to deliver essential medications and supplies to rural populations without full access to medical services. Federal funds would support this research, including training and curriculum for students.

Project Location: Princess Anne, MD

Amount Included: $510,000

Project Name: Oyster Research to Enhance Resiliency

Applicant: University of MD Center for Environmental Science

Description: Funds will be used to support research into oyster restoration and to enhance UMCES’ production of oyster larvae and spat for research and restoration activities. Improving these practices will support the long-term health of oysters in the Bay and Maryland’s seafood industry.

Project Location: Cambridge, MD

Amount Included: $960,000

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Project Name: BAAM Academic Center

Applicant: Building African American Minds, Inc. (BAAM)

Description of Proposal: BAAM provides student academic and social activities for Black students in Talbot County, as well as career and workforce development for youth and adults. Funds will be used to support the new BAAM Academic Center, adjacent to the BAAM Athletic Center, to house its academic and workforce services and allow it to expand its student and adult participation. The BAAM Academic Center will include a library, 12 classrooms, a computer lab, a multipurpose/dining room with a commercial kitchen, a student lounge, a wellness and counseling center, and administrative offices.

Project Location: Easton, MD

Amount Included: $1,000,000

Project Name: Charlestown Town Hall Addition and Restoration

Applicant: Town of Charlestown

Description: The Charlestown Town Hall is in the town’s original one-room schoolhouse, with half of the building leased to the U.S. Post Office. The Addition and Restoration of the Town Hall will allow the town to more adequately serve local residents, comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, and restore the historic building in a way similar to other buildings in the Charlestown community, in line with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. The Maryland and Delaware USDA state director has certified this project as eligible for USDA Community Facilities Grant funding.

Project Location: Charlestown, MD

Amount Included: $34,000

Project Name: Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers Preschool Site Air Quality Improvement Project

Applicant: Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers

Description: The Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers Preschool Site provides year-round, full-day education and care for children ages 2-4, and 74% of the families served are low-income. Funds will be used to help replace four HV/AC units and make related repairs, improving air circulation and quality at the preschool.

Project Location: Easton, MD

Amount Included: $21,000

Project Name: Leonard’s Lane Community Park

Applicant: National Park Service

Description: Congressionally Directed Spending funds can cover the costs of construction of a green infrastructure project that meets both community and habitat conservation goals. The Leonard’s Lane Park proposal is located in an underserved community of color in Cambridge, Maryland. This Chesapeake Gateways Community Project will utilize a vacant lot to create a space for gathering, gardening, and passive and active recreation opportunities, while enhancing water quality and conserving lands in line with the Chesapeake Bay Initiative Act of 1998.

Project Location: Cambridge, MD

Amount Included: $389,000

Project Name: One Mission Cambridge Mission Center

Applicant: One Mission Cambridge

Description: Many of the churches in Cambridge currently operate their own food pantries that occur throughout the month at different times, days, and locations. This inconsistent manner in which food pantries currently operate is confusing for many people and causes frustration for those seeking assistance. Federal funds will support One Mission Cambridge, which will consolidate the services into a single food pantry location with regular hours, community dinners, community navigation to access additional services, and counseling to serve those experiencing food security.

Project Location: Cambridge, MD

Amount Included: $60,000

Project Name: Pathway to Equity for People with Disabilities Begins in Rural Maryland

Applicant: The Arc Central Chesapeake Region

Description of Proposal: The Arc Central Chesapeake Region serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the Eastern Shore. Funds will be used to support development of The Arc at Port Street facility, which will provide counseling, day services, and a community gathering space for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc at Port Street is being developed alongside The Residences at Port Street, which will provide quality affordable housing. This project will allow The Arc to grow its Eastern Shore programs by at least 60%, serving a minimum of 150 people by 2025, so that people with disabilities can live, work, and connect within their community.

Project Location: Easton, MD

Amount Included: $750,000

Project Name: St. Michaels Community Center Capital Project

Applicant: St. Michaels Community Center

Description of Proposal: The current St. Michaels Community Center is in a World War II era former lumber warehouse that has no windows, limited accessibility, no insulation, and only partial HVAC. These federal funds will allow for the renovation of the building to allow the Community Center to expand their services, including a commercial kitchen with a new Culinary Arts Workforce Development Program to enroll unemployed individuals and those with barriers to employment to learn food preparation skills while expanding the Community Food Distribution Program. The Center will also include equipped classrooms for after-school programs, summer camp, and adult education, along with a Technology Center to provide online classes from Chesapeake College and serve as a home for a retail entrepreneurship training program.

Project Location: St. Michaels, MD

Amount Included: $500,000

Project Name: Talbot County Free Library – St. Michaels Branch Library Expansion and Renovation

Applicant: Talbot County Free Library

Description: The St. Michaels Branch Library is more than 40 years old and the community’s needs have outgrown the space of the existing library. In particular, the community meeting space is insufficient to meet current demands and it limits opportunities for the library to expand into new, in-demand programming. Federal funds will complete the design of the renovation and expansion of the St. Michaels Branch Library from the existing 7,716 square foot-site into a fully renovated, 10,787 square foot-site, a nearly 40 percent increase in size. The Maryland and Delaware USDA state director has certified this project as eligible for USDA Community Facilities Grant funding.

Project Location: St. Michaels, MD

Amount Included: $70,000

AGRICULTURE

Project Name: Eastern Shore Farm to Freezer Project

Applicant: Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center (ESEC)

Description: Funds will help with build out, equipment, and initial operational support and working capital for the pilot-scale phase of the Farm to Freezer Project. This project will help small and medium-sized farms freeze their produce for wider markets and provide food for the Maryland Food Bank.

Project Location: Denton, MD

Amount Included: $985,000

ENVIRONMENT

Project Name: Chesapeake Bay Oyster Recovery

Applicant: Army Corps of Engineers (Civil)

Description: Funds will be used to continue oyster restoration projects in Maryland and Virginia, including constructing and rehabilitating reefs and planting oysters. Federal restoration funding has led to significant improvements in oyster population in the Bay.

Project Location: Talbot County, MD

Amount Included: $4,000,000