Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

Delaware’s Senators Announce Nearly $9 Million in Recovery Act Funds for Sussex County

Funds will modernize water and sanitation systems

April 14, 2010

OAK ORCHARD, Del. – U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Ted Kaufman (both D-Del.) and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the funding of local projects designed to continue to protect public health by modernizing water quality and public sanitation services in Sussex County, Del.. The projects, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), are expected to provide construction jobs and create infrastructure needed to support community growth. The Oak Orchard expansion project in Sussex County will receive a $5,582,000 loan and a $2,999,847 grant.

“In recent years, more and more families have decided to make Sussex County their home,” Carper and Kaufman said. “It is a wonderful place to raise children or retire, but infrastructure must keep pace with population growth. These Recovery Act dollars will put people to work modernizing the County’s water and sanitation infrastructure, which will continue to protect the health of the public and environment.”

The funding announced Wednesday will provide a welcomed boost to the $16 million wastewater expansion project now underway in the Oak Orchard area of eastern Sussex County. That project will replace on-site septic systems on nearly 900 properties, furthering the county government’s aggressive efforts over the last several years to shift homes and businesses around the fragile Inland Bays from failing septic systems to public sewer. The Oak Orchard expansion project is expected to be fully operational by spring 2011.

“We appreciate the Senators’ and Secretary Vilsak’s continued support in ensuring Sussex County receives these critical federal dollars,” said David B. Baker, Sussex County Administrator. “This funding will guarantee sorely needed construction jobs in the short term, and improved water quality for our Inland Bays and reduced rates for our sewer customers in the long term.”

“Through these Recovery Act projects announced today, we are helping to achieve the Obama Administration's economic recovery goals to rebuild and revitalize the nation's infrastructure.” Vilsack said. “These investments in water and wastewater infrastructure will deliver safe drinking water and protect the quality of our environment.”

The loan and grant funding announced today totals $48.6 million to complete water and wastewater system projects. To date, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced $2.46 billion in Recovery Act funds for water and environmental projects. The Recovery Act was signed into law by President Obama in February 2009.

The ARRA funding announced today is being administered by USDA Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Program, which provides loans and grants to ensure that the necessary investments are made in water and wastewater infrastructure to deliver safe drinking water and protect the environment in rural areas.

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