ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 16, 2004) – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. today announced approval of a $300,000 grant by the Board of Public Works to assist the City of Cambridge in its continuing effort to update its sewer and stormwater management systems. The result will reduce the level of nutrients present in water entering the Choptank River and Chesapeake Bay. The Board is comprised of Governor Ehrlich, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller William D. Schaefer.
“Cambridge is in the fourth phase of this massive undertaking that aims to separate the city’s combined sewers to prevent frequent overflows that can cause a potential health hazard and dump excessive nutrients into the water,” said Governor Ehrlich. “Maintaining the health of Maryland families, the condition of the Chesapeake Bay, and our overall quality of life are among this administration’s top priorities.”
The City of Cambridge currently combines its stormwater and sanitary sewer functions. In times of heavy precipitation the system overflows into local waterways. Excess nutrients lead to degraded water quality, which negatively affects the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries.
“We understand the importance of this project and are committed to eliminating all sources of combined sewer overflows with in the city,” said Cambridge Mayor Cleveland P. Rippons. “We thank the state for the grant funding they have allocated and are hopeful that additional grant funding will be available for the remaining phases of this project.”
The total cost of the separation work will be more than $7 million. Future actions, including a state revolving fund loan of more than $4.5 million, along with the city’s contribution of $415,000 will complete the financing. The city will repay the loan, via bond, over a period not to exceed 20 years following completion of the project. Construction on phase IV of the project is expected to begin in June and is slated for completion by May 2006.