U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and Representative John Carney today announced a total of $600,000 in U.S. Department of Agricultural (USDA) funding to help Kent County extend its existing sewer system from Kitts Hummock to Pickering Beach -- reaching approximately 560 people, or 224 homes.
"The Delaware Bay is a precious economic and environmental resource, and it is vital that we protect and preserve it for generations to come," Senator Carper said. "This federal funding will allow Kent County to remove failing individual septic tanks and install a new central sewer system. By eliminating the harmful pollutants emitted from old or faulty septic systems, this project will help keep our waterways clean and our citizens safe."
"One of the basic and critical functions of any local government is providing a trusted and comprehensive public works system," Senator Coons said. "During my time in county government, I learned just how much of a challenge it can be for local governments to maintain a safe and reliable sewer system. It's important, as well, that such systems are built and maintained in a way that respects and protects its surrounding environment, which is why this funding is so vital. This important USDA funding will help new communities access the system and repair or replace aging sections, all the while protecting the Delaware Bay."
"Repairing crumbling public infrastructure like sewer systems is critically important for environmental protection and local quality-of-life," Congressman Carney said. "This funding will provide Kent County residents in Pickering Beach with access to a modernized sewer system that efficiently serves the community, while helping ensure that the Delaware Bay is safe from pollution."
"As we approach the 42nd anniversary of the first Earth Day, USDA Rural Development is pleased to be a partner in this important project," Jack Tarburton, USDA Rural Development State Director, said. "We know a strong economy is based on the principles of good environmental stewardship of our natural resources. Since 2009, Rural Development has invested $78 million to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural Delaware."
The funding comes in the form of a USDA Water and Waste Disposal loan of $200,000 and a USDA Water and Waste Disposal grant of $400,000.
The USDA Rural Development's total investment in loans and grants for the project is $5,599,272. The amount of funding in loans and grants for FY 2006 was $3,539,935 to help Kent County Levy Court construct a sewer collection system for Kitts Hummock and the Willow Tree Mobile Home Park. Between the two communities approximately 195 homes were going to be served. As a result of a storm that occurred May of 2008 some of the homes were destroyed and the number of homes to be served by the project dropped to 184. In FY 2009, the USDA allocated $1,459,337 in loans and grants to help with a system design change that allowed the County to construct an all pressurized flood proof system, in response to the May 2008 storm.