The town of Hartland was awarded $1.9 million to make water infrastructure improvements to support business in the area, and the project is expected to retain 175 jobs in the town.

The announcement from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration was applauded by U.S. Sens. Angus King, I-Maine, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, as well as by U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-2nd District, on Tuesday. According to a release from the Commerce Department, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said the Trump administration recognized the challenges to rural communities that need to upgrade crumbling infrastructure.

“Due to the action of those in Hartland, this project will provide the modern infrastructure that local businesses need to flourish,” Ross said.

In a news release, Gov. Paul LePage praised Hartland residents for their hard work in keeping business in their rural town.

“Hartland’s local leaders have made important investments needed to retain valuable jobs for the State and the region, and I am grateful to President Trump and Secretary Ross for making these investments in a rural part of a rural state,” LePage said.

The investment supports the construction of upgrades throughout the town of Hartland’s wastewater treatment system, some components of which are obsolete or inoperable. The system will support the continuing operations of a local tannery, aid in the retention of its 175 employees and help attract new businesses to the region. The $1,930,000 grant will put a dent in the total project cost of $9,933,000.

In a joint statement, King and Collins said maintaining and upgrading the infrastructure is vital to helping business create economic opportunities in these communities.

“We welcome this important investment for the Town of Hartland to improve its wastewater treatment system, which will help retain jobs, attract new businesses, and preserve water quality and public health,” the senators said.

In his statement, Poliquin called the announcement welcome news to Somerset County.

“I’m hopeful this funding will help move this wastewater treatment system upgrade forward, along with the nearly 200 jobs it supports, and have a lasting, positive impact on the area,” he said.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

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