WINTERSVILLE, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined U.S. Department of Agriculture( USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-OH) to outline how new economic recovery funds for a sewer system in Jefferson County will promote economic growth in the region.
“These funds will promote economic development in Jefferson County,” Brown said. “Small towns and rural communities in Ohio were overlooked for too long. We’re working to change that by making the federal government a partner in creating new jobs and economic activity. Access to safe and clean drinking water isn’t just a health issue, it’s an economic development imperative. I’ve held more than 140 roundtable discussions across Ohio. At almost every one of them, I hear how important water and sewer infrastructure is to economic competiveness.”
Vilsack, Brown, and Wilson announced $9.4 million in economic recovery funds to provide a centralized sanitary sewer system that will serve approximately 350 users in Cross Creek and Wayne Townships. The Crestview/Belvedere Sanitary Sewer Collection System joins nine other projects that have received more than $43 million in funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for water and sewer upgrades.
Brown, the first Ohioan to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in more than 40 years and chairman of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Hunger, Nutrition and Family Farms, outlined federal efforts to promote economic development in rural Ohio through investment in water and sewer infrastructure. Brown authored The Clean Water Affordability Act with Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-OH). This bipartisan legislation is aimed at updating the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) clean water affordability policy, which puts undue strain on the budgets of local communities. The Clean Water Affordability Act authorizes $1.8 billion over five years for a matching grant program to help financially distressed communities update their aging infrastructure.