Nov 18 2005

SHELBY ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR SOUTH ALABAMA AND WIREGRASS

Senate Approves FY 06 Transportation, Treasury, Judiciary, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON, D. C. -- U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), a senior member of the Transportation, Treasury, Judiciary, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced Conference Committee approval of important funding for several projects in South Alabama and the Wiregrass included in the Fiscal Year 2006 Transportation, Treasury, Judiciary, HUD Appropriations Bill. The bill passed the Senate and now heads to the President’s desk for his signature.

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that the bill provides funding for important projects across the state. These funds reflect our commitment to safe and efficient transportation, infrastructure development, and economic growth activities.”

University of South Alabama Transportation Technology Center - $10 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased this bill provides $10 million for the Transportation Technology Center at the University of South Alabama. These funds will be used to construct a state of the art education facility to train future scientist and engineers.”

Alabama State Docks - $6.742 million

Senator Shelby said, “The Alabama State Docks have the potential to become one of America's most economically viable ports in this century because of the proximity to emerging trade routes on the Gulf of Mexico. I am pleased that the bill provides $2.16 million in funding to modernize this important asset to our state by constructing an intermodal containerized freight terminal.”

Preliminary data indicates Alabama will need to expand its current dockside facilities that handle and store containerized cargo.

An additional $4.582 million is provided for as a result of passage of SAFETA-LU.

Mobile Waterfront Infrastructure Development - $600,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used to construct an accessway to provide a safe, pedestrian route to the Maritime Center of the Gulf.”

Mitchell College of Business Library - $400,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used by the University of South Alabama for construction of a library at the Mitchell College of Business. It is important that students have access to necessary resources while attending college, and these funds will help the University of South Alabama further expand this library.”

Evergreen/Conecuh County Public Library Expansion - $300,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used for expansion of the Evergreen library in Conecuh County. Expansion of the library’s resources will provide residents of this economically-distressed area with important educational tools.”

University of South Alabama - Center for the Study of Rural Vehicular Trauma - $350,000

Senator Shelby said, “The bill provides $350,000 to continue the important research done at the University of South Alabama.”

This research is designed to collect and analyze data on rural vehicular trauma victims for the purpose of identifying the cause of fatalities. Based on these findings, the Center will develop a trauma system that will utilize available resources to reduce morbidity and mortality for these rural accident victims.

Abbeville Airport - $1 million

Senator Shelby said, “The bill includes $1 million so that the Abbeville Airport may extend the airport’s runway and make necessary upgrades to attract new industry and business opportunities for the area.”

Southern Fuel Cell Coalition - $1.66 million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used for the Southern Fuel Cell Coalition which will serve the Southeastern United States. The coalition will work to tackle the challenges and opportunities that face fuel cell development and hydrogen infrastructure in the South.”

Alabama Area Agencies on Aging - $200,000

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased this bill includes $200,000 for van replacement for the Alabama Area Agencies on Aging. These critical resources allow this agency to continue providing much needed transportation options for Alabama’s senior citizens.”

Delta Regional Transportation Development Program - $14.3 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased the bill includes $14.3 million for the Delta Region Transportation Development Program to provide federal funds for transportation infrastructure development projects in Delta Regional Authority designated counties. These funds will help facilitate multi-state transportation planning and corridor development for this impoverished area of the country. The link between transportation infrastructure and economic development is unmistakable. Establishing a transportation program specifically for the Delta Region is an integral step towards promoting economic development, raising the standard of living, and improving quality of life in this traditionally impoverished region.”

In addition, the bill provides funding for the following projects included in SAFETEA-LU, the Highway and Transit Reauthorization Bill.

•Mobile County Commission Bus Project - $115,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used for the Mobile County Commission Bus Project to provide transportation alternatives to its citizens and visitors. I am pleased these funds were included in this legislation.”

•Gulf Shores Community Bus Project - $229,000

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that we secured funds for this important bus project in Gulf Shores. These funds will provide an important transportation option for those that live, work and vacation in the Gulf Shores area.”

•Interstate 10 Connector - $4 million

Senator Shelby said, “The bill includes $4 million for the I-10 Connector. This funding will allow us to continue construction on this important project to connect the Dothan and Wiregrass area with Interstate 10 in Florida and will greatly improve access and traffic flow throughout southeastern Alabama.”

- 30 -