Boonsboro, Fahrney-Keedy get $9.2 million loan for wastewater plant upgrade

May 06, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

BOONSBORO - Federal officials are loaning the Town of Boonsboro and Fahrney-Keedy Memorial Home Inc. more than $8 million to help upgrade their wastewater treatment facilities.

On Monday, Marlene Elliott Brown, state director of rural development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, presented a check to Boonsboro and Fahrney-Keedy officials for $9.32 million.

Among the other dignitaries at the ceremony on the Fahrney-Keedy grounds were U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R-Md., and representatives from the offices of U.S. Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Benjamin L. Cardin, both D-Md.

Boonsboro received a $5.9 million low-interest loan, which is payable over 40 years, and a $1 million grant to help pay the $12.5 million cost of replacing the town's wastewater lagoon, said Debra Smith, town manager.


The remaining cost of the project will be paid for using $4.6 million in state aid and $1 million from local funds, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Fahrney-Keedy received a $2.3 million loan to upgrade the wastewater facilities there.

Jay Shell, president and CEO of Fahrney-Keedy, said the nursing home applied for the loan about 18 months ago so the facility's wastewater system could be upgraded to meet environmental standards.

Shell said he was pleased after hearing Fahrney-Keedy received the loan.

"We certainly didn't have that money in the bank," he said.

Boonsboro Mayor Charles F. "Skip" Kauffman Jr. said he was relieved when he learned the town had received the loan and grant. Without federal assistance, Boonsboro, a town of about 3,000 residents, could not afford to upgrade its wastewater treatment system, he said.

"Trust me, it will be put to good use," Kauffman said. "We'll be spending it as soon as we get it."

Kauffman said he hoped tax revenue from future developments would pay off a majority of the loan.

Bartlett said the primary benefactor of the wastewater projects in Boonsboro would be the Chesapeake Bay.

"The effluent from our wastewater treatment here goes into our streams and eventually flows into the bay ...," he said. "I'm really pleased we're helping the environment. I'm doubly pleased our tax dollars are coming home."

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