It seems like everyone and their cousin is standing in line to qualify for ARPA funds to help their favorite project these days. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which amounts to almost $2 trillion of federal grants to states and local municipalities, is finally reaches communities in need, but the challenge doesn’t stop there.
All of these communities, whether it be county commissioners or town council members, are now in the delicate process of determining the best use for those funds. And, as expected, while ARPA funds are a remarkable blessing in so many ways, the number of needy projects significantly outnumber the funding available.
The City of Cambridge is now in the process of deciding where its funds will be going, and Alan Girard, the Eastern Shore director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, makes a strong argument that $4.5 million of those funds needed to be used to repair and improve the city’s sewer pipes and infrastructure.
Over the last several years, Cambridge has faced increasing evidence that its current sewer pipe system is way out of date. With some piping as old as the 1930s, residents have reported seeing sewer in the streets, dirty diapers, and other pollutants that impact the quality of life and underscore the long-term threat to clean water.
The Spy sat down with Alan a few weeks ago to discuss this environmental challenge and how those ARPA funds could be the only way Cambridge can afford to get this expensive work done in a timely manner.
This video is approximately five minutes in length. For more information about Chesapeake Bay Foundation please go here.