Maryland projects get federal funding
Purple line, food bank and oral hygiene to benefit
Maryland projects will receive about $5.3 million from the federal government with the bulk of the funds going to the Purple Line light rail project as part of an omnibus appropriations bill Congress passed Sunday.
The bill is awaiting President Barack Obama's signature.
The Maryland Food Bank and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Office of Oral Health also received federal appropriations.
The Purple Line is expected to cost about $1.67 billion, and would connect Bethesda to New Carrollton via Silver Spring over 16 miles of light rail.
Lawmakers approved $3 million for preliminary engineering of the Purple Line, which U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D) of Pikesville said is expected to take 19,000 cars off the road each day, according to a press release.
Montgomery County Council President Nancy M. Floreen (D-At Large) said Monday that the construction of the Purple Line will help with job creation in the county and economic development.
"It will allow us to be a connected region instead of a disconnected region," she said.
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Office of Oral Health received $1.2 million in federal funding to implement an educational campaign on the importance of oral health primarily targeting low-income, high-risk families.
After a Prince George's County boy died in February 2007 from a brain infection caused by a tooth abscess, the Dental Action Committee formed, and is now partnering with the University of Maryland School of Public Health on a statewide oral health campaign.
The federal funding will pay for that campaign, said Keith Roberts, chief operating officer the Office of Oral Health.
The bill also includes $650,000 for the Community Health Integrated Partnership Inc. to implement an electronic patient record system at nine health centers around Maryland.
The Maryland Food Bank also received $492,000 in federal funding, which it will use to buy three refrigerated trucks, upgrade office spaces and install a new roof at the food bank's Baltimore distribution center, according to a press release.