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Rockville Receives $4M in Earmarks for Emergency Ops, Storm Drains, Water Mains, Sewer Lines

The City of Rockville recently received more than $3.9 million in federal earmark funding for a new emergency operations center, police radios, water main and sewer line rehabilitation, and storm drain improvements in the Potomac Woods neighborhood.

Earmarks allow members of congress to request a portion of federal spending to be directed to specific projects or programs. Congress reinstated earmarks in Fiscal Year 2022, after an 11-year ban. Rockville received earmark funding in two separate legislative packages signed by President Joe Biden in March. The earmarks will help fund five projects:

  • Interoperable police radio communications equipment: $963,000.
  • Water main rehabilitation: $959,752.
  • Potomac Woods storm drain improvements: $900,000.
  • Maintenance and Emergency Operations Center: $592,500.
  • Sewer line rehabilitation: $500,000.

Only one Rockville project was not funded — a $997,500 request for security improvements to the city’s water treatment plant.

An amendment to the city’s FY 2024 budget will provide $1.5 million to replace all emergency radios carried by police officers and in police vehicles. The proposed Capital Improvements Program includes new FY 2025 appropriations of $13.4 million for water and sewer infrastructure and $1.9 million for stormwater infrastructure. The proposed CIP also includes $6.4 million of carryover funding in FY25 for creation of a new city Maintenance and Emergency Operations Center at 6 Taft Court, a 50,000-square-foot building the city purchased in 2019. The $592,500 earmark will help purchase technology, including computers and monitors for the center.

Securing the earmarks was a joint effort by staff from the City Manager’s Office, Department Public Works and Rockville City Police Department to prepare potential projects to qualify for funding and be competitive with funding requests from other jurisdictions.

“This has been a very special and unique year for Rockville earmarks and grants overall,” acting City Manager Craig L. Simoneau wrote in an email to the Mayor and Council and the city’s senior staff announcing the earmarks. The earmarks capped a month in which the city was awarded nearly $4.5 million in federal funding, including a $568,000 grant for planning and design of a proposed pedestrian and bicycle bridge in Twinbrook.

Simoneau thanked the Mayor and Council for their advocacy for the projects and recognized the city’s congressional delegation, including U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin and Sens. Benjamin L. Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, for their support.

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Rockville Reports is the official publication of the City of Rockville, published at City Hall, 111 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850-2364.