BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The federal government is helping Baltimore pad its purse for a huge infrastructure revamp.
The EPA announced Monday it is awarding the city $202 million to upgrade its water system.
These improvement projects were already planned, the news coming with this loan from the federal government- the Baltimore taxpayer is off the hook for a big chunk of the bill.
“This is a big deal,” said Sen. Ben Cardin-D.
City and county leaders, alongside Sen. Ben Cardin-D and Sen. Chris Van Hollen-D, accepted the low-interest loan from the EPA, abating the $942 million price tag of a major infrastructure improvement projects already on the city’s agenda.
“The programs are already there and then the question is how do we finance those projects? This is just $202 million in projects we can identify, we’re going to use WIFIA dollars for,” said Rudy Chow, Baltimore City Department of Public Works director.
Those projects include improving stormwater management and finishing upgrades to the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant, where elected officials got a tour and birds-eye view of the work to be done.
“Baltimore is facing the immediate challenge of aging wastewater infrastructure,” said Andrew Wheeler, EPA acting administrator.
City officials said this low-interest loan will save taxpayers $40 million over the next 30 years, keeping your water bill from climbing.
Plus, there is the hope the stormwater repairs will improve the health of Maryland’s natural waterways.
“This is the federal government helping the state meet its responsibilities for clean water, but also helping to reduce the burden on rate-payers,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen said.
Baltimore is one of 16 states, plus DC to apply for this loan- 12 were selected.