USDA Rural Development State Director Dr. Bill McGowan today joined agencies representing every level of government to highlight the environment and the local economy.
“This project demonstrates how government should work -- community, public and private groups working together leveraging their resources to help restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and strengthening our economy at the same time,” McGowan said. “Having reliable, clean and safe wastewater disposal is essential for any community to thrive and grow. I am especially proud that we can help build or improve water infrastructure systems that remain affordable to the Town residents.”
The Town of Snow Hill has been considering a wastewater treatment plant upgrade since the late 1990’s. The plant is considered to be among the 66 major treatment plants in the State of Maryland. The plant was originally constructed in 1965 and did not meet current Enhanced Nutrient Removal level standards. Today’s ceremony held at the state-of-the-art facility marks the end of a fifteen year journey that was designed to improve the environment and serve the wastewater needs for the Town of Snow Hill over the next 20 years.
The $14 million project was funded by a $1.3 million USDA Rural Development low-interest loan, a $1 million USDA grant, $8.9 million grant from the Maryland Department of the Environment, $2.2 million loan from the State Revolving Fund (of which, $1.6 million is loan forgiveness), and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is providing $600,000 through the Community Development Block Grant Program.
Last year, USDA Rural Development returned $617 million to rural Maryland. They have more than 40 loan, grant, and technical assistance programs. The 2014 Farm Bill brings renewed support for community economic development, including financing for investments in broadband, telecommunications, distance learning and telemedicine, entrepreneurship, and business development and growth.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.