WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) 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 recently voted to pass.
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.
The House passed by 225-201 the fiscal 2023 omnibus spending package. The bill then went to President Joe Biden’s desk 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 Sen. 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 Sen. 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 farms expand the reach of their products
- $4 million for environmental protection through Chesapeake Bay oyster recovery funding for the Army Corps of Engineers.