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Attending the Nov. 2 Maryland Board of Public Works meeting in which more than $33 million in state funding was approved for the Southern Kent Island Sanitary Project are Director of Queen Anne’s County Public Works, Todd Mohn, QAC Commissioner James Moran, and County Administrator Gregg Todd.
PRESS RELEASEANNAPOLIS – The first phase of the Southern Kent Island Sanitary Project will move ahead now that the Maryland Board of Public Works approved more than $33 million in funding at its November 2 meeting.
The Board of Public Works members are Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot. It was a two to one vote in favor of allocating funding with Hogan and Kopp voting for funding and Franchot firmly against.
Maryland Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles said, “These are smart investments to protect public health and prevent water pollution in Maryland communities and the Chesapeake Bay. The Maryland Department of the Environment thanks Governor Hogan for his leadership on this environmental priority. We congratulate Queen Anne’s County for moving forward on such an important project for clean water. It makes sense to stop the harm from failing septics and rethink the opportunities for broader environmental solutions. That’s why we are enthusiastic about retooling our efforts statewide to ensure septics work well and advancing local discussions on septics, sewers and sustainable development.” A $31,906,558 Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund loan, with a $1,267,000 grant in the form of loan forgiveness, to Queen Anne’s County will help fund phase 1 of the project which will provide public sewer service to areas of Southern Kent Island that suffer from pollution caused by failing septic systems and septic systems that discharge directly to groundwater, according to MDE which expects to provide about $15 million in Bay Restoration Fund grants to assist the county with loan repayment. The QAC Commissioners have set a goal of $100 per month per homeowner to keep this project affordable for those on fixed incomes. QAC Commissioner Mark Anderson said the 2007 upgrade of the KNSG Wastewater Treatment Plant built in capacity for the project and without the added connections existing Sanitary District customers could experience significant increases in their user fees. “So in preventing a potential health problem we can contain the user costs for existing citizens in the Sanitary District. In traveling in South Kent Island and talking to those immediately affected by septic back-ups, being placed on expensive holding tanks, and being unable to sell their homes, moving ahead with this long delayed project is a needed and welcome project.”
The STEP system technology will work for Kent Island’s flat topography,” said Anderson. “The notion that the 1,600 vacant lots would somehow be filled with new homes, adding traffic to Route 8 has been mitigated by the required lot consolidation requirements eliminating 1,000 of these lots. With the good decision made by the State Board of Public Works, South Kent Island residents connecting to the new system in Phase One can expect the monthly costs to be within previously discussed range.