WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) wrote to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Sec. Tom Vilsack in support of Kinsman Township's application for funding a Wastewater Treatment Project through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
"All Ohioans deserve access to clean water, but too many communities are struggling to afford costly, but necessary, upgrades to sewer systems," Brown said. "This funding would help Kinsman Township upgrade outdated water and sewer systems that would promote the public health, attract new businesses to the area and ensure that residents pay less for their water and sewer bills."
The project aims to serve more than 350 residential and commercial users. Trumbull County has experienced significant job loss due to the challenges that face our nation's automotive and manufacturing sectors. Due to high contamination levels, area businesses are under environmental orders and could be faced with layoffs and plant closures.
Senator Brown, along with Senator George V. Voinovich (R-OH), authored the Clean Water Affordability Act in April 2009. The legislation aims to update the EPA clean water affordability policy to provide for a full and accurate representation of the financial impacts clean water investment programs place on communities struggling to meet federal regulations for improving water infrastructure.
Studies indicate that for every $1 billion invested in infrastructure projects, between 35,000 and 50,000 jobs are created. Beyond job creation, investment in water and sewer infrastructure meets public health and safety needs and helps communities attract new businesses and residents.
Full text of the letter follows:
June 30, 2010
The Honorable Tom Vilsack
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
Dear Mr. Secretary:
As the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) considers applications for water and waste water projects, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, I write in strong support of the Trumbull County Kinsman Township Sewer System application.
The project aims to serve more than 350 residential and commercial users. It is my understanding that the initiative will provide a centralized wastewater treatment and collection system for the unincorporated community. If awarded funding, this would be the first sewer project in Trumbull County funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Trumbull County has experienced significant job loss due to the challenges that face our nation’s automotive and manufacturing sectors. The dire need for federal assistance cannot be over emphasized. In the last 10 years, the median household income in Kinsman Township has dropped from $40,000 to $30,000, largely due to the loss of the Kraft Foods facility. Due to high contamination levels, area businesses are under environmental orders and could be faced with layoffs and plant closures.
As a member of the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee in the United States Senate, I strongly support the use of Rural Development resources to help alleviate the burden of the area businesses and residents. Such resources have already proven to be pivotal for Ohio, as the state continues down the path to economic recovery.
I strongly urge the USDA to give serious consideration to the application for funding. Please don’t hesitate to call on me if I can be of assistance in this matter.
Thank you for your efforts.
United States Senator