CRISFIELD, Md. - A public hearing was called in Crisfield Wednesday evening to discuss the continuing water and sewage system problems in the city, and a solution to one of the three major problem areas.
The city was asking for reaction and public views on their pending application for a Maryland Community Development Block Grant to repair one of its three projects on tap.
CDBG money helps strengthen communities by expanding affordable housing opportunities, creating jobs, stabilizing neighborhoods and improving overall quality of life.
For Crisfield, this grant would be used for the Rubberset station that pumps sewage, seen as the most urgent situation.
"It's in tough shape. Years of lack of proper maintenance and lack of resources to keep it where it should be are telling now," said City Manager Rick Pollitt.
That's only one of three major projects. Pollitt says they have been finding failures with water and sewage lines often. Also on the agenda are water pipes that date back to the 1930s, and a water pump that has been giving residents fits.
"We have 1936 pipes in the ground for the sewage infrastructure, and those are in need of replacement and repair," said Jen Rafter, presenter of the proposed application. "And in addition we have another pumping station that needs repair, but the rubber set pumping station has the greatest need."
The city will also be filing for funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Rural Maryland Council, and the Maryland State Department of Environment.
Pollitt says the public hearing for the grant was met with approval, because supplying clean water is vital to the city and its residents.
"There's no lack of projects in Crisfield for the things that we need to do. But we've had strong public support for our water and sewer improvements because fundamentally having safe water and being able to process it and move it is one of our highest priorities and I think we've got strong support in the community to do that," said Pollitt.
Mayor Kimberly Lawson says the city has been helped many times over the past 3-plus decades.
"Since 1980 there have been 8 projects that have come to crisfield that we're leveraged and made possible by the initial monies that came from community development block grant. They totaled almost six million dollars in monies that came to the city... but that helped us leverage 15 million dollars worth of total project money for these projects in the city."
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