In addition to providing quality jobs, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is improving antiquated infrastructure in rural America. For example, Jonestown, East of Easton on Maryland’s Delmarva Peninsula, is about to receive a long-needed upgrade to its water system.
On November 16th it was my privilege to join U.S. Senator Ben Cardin to meet residents of Jonestown’s Nelpine Heights subdivision, and to present a plaque to longtime resident Mable Friend, who has worked for 15 years to improve the quality of the tap water in her area. Thanks to her efforts, with assistance from the State, county and USDA Rural Development, the 22 homes in the subdivision along with the rest of the homes in Jonestown, will be hooked up to a new water system, which replaces an antiquated system and a number of shallow private wells. When the project is finished, 100 homes will have safe, reliable tap water. The $1.6 million project is made possible in part with $285,000 in USDA grant funds and a $95,000 low interest loan through ARRA, with the rest of the funding coming from Caroline County and the State of Maryland.
In order to highlight the funding announcement, we gathered at Coppins A.M.E Church, which has, through the involvement of its congregation, played an important role in securing the funds. We also announced the provision of $6.9 million in Recovery Act funds to the Commissioners of Sudlersville. Those funds will also be used to improve a water and wastewater system. I am proud that USDA Rural Development, through the Recovery Act, is able to provide affordable water system upgrades for Maryland communities, and I am pleased that Senator Cardin, who chairs the Water and Wildlife Subcommittee of the Environment and Public Works Committee, joined us in Jonesville to make this important announcement. As the Senator said, shoring up our aging water infrastructure is critical to creating and saving jobs that will help restore our nation’s economic growth.