Nov 20 2004

SHELBY ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR SOUTH ALABAMA

Conference Committee Approves FY 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act

WASHINGTON, D. C. --- U. S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury and General Government, announced conference committee approval of the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2005. The bill is expected to pass the Senate and House of Representatives later today.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY 2005 is a spending bill that includes the remaining appropriations bills, which provide funding for: Transportation, Treasury, and General Government; Agriculture; Commerce, Justice, State; Energy and Water; Foreign Operations; Interior; Labor, Health and Human Services, Education; Legislative Branch; and Veterans Administration, Department of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased to announce funding for many important projects in South Alabama and across the state. This legislation provides necessary resources for a wide-range of initiatives to improve the quality of life for our citizens and increase economic development opportunities across the state.”

Highlights include:

  • $20 Million for the University of South Alabama Cancer Research Institute

  • $10 Million for Alabama State Docks Intermodal Facility

  • $1.2 Million for the Mobile Tensaw Delta

TRANSPORTATION, TREASURY, AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT

Alabama State Docks Intermodal Facility - $10 Million

Sen. Shelby said, "The Alabama State Docks have the potential to become one of America's most economically important ports in this century because of the proximity to emerging trade routes on the Gulf of Mexico. I am pleased that the bill provides $10 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.

Mobile Regional Airport - $1 Million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased to announce these funds for the Mobile Regional Airport. This funding will be used for runway rehabilitation at the airport.”

Grade Separation of CSX/US 90 at Hamilton Boulevard - $1 Million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will help to design and support the construction of a 4-lane grade separation near the intersection of US 90 and Hamilton Boulevard in Mobile. This funding is important to enhance the safety of this crossing. It is imperative we continue to make our transportation systems safer, and this funding goes directly towards improving areas where railroads cross over busy arteries."

Corridor Analyses: Gulf Coast High Speed Rail Corridor - $1 Million

Senator Shelby said, “The promise of high speed rail throughout this area could provide unprecedented economic growth and opportunity. This bill provides $1 million to continue planning for high speed rail service throughout the Gulf Coast area.” Specifically, these funds will address the technical issues associated with track conditions, operational impediments, ridership and recommendations for improving travel speeds and frequency of service.

Bring Back Broad Street Initiative in Mobile - $1 Million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will assist the Bring Back Broad Street initiative to redevelop Broad Street in Mobile’s central business district. This project will enhance this area, making it more attractive for businesses, area residents and visitors.”

Orange Beach Pedestrian Safety And Lighting Enhancements - $250,000

Senator Shelby said, “The legislation includes $250,000 for the City of Orange Beach for pedestrian safety and lighting enhancements. These funds are important to improving the safety for the residents and visitors of the area.”

Mobile Association for Retarded Citizens - $250,000

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased to announce these important funds for job access and reverse commute programs for the Mobile Association for Retarded Citizens to ensure that all Alabamians have access to transportation.”

Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission - $250,000

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased the legislation includes funding for the important work being done by the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission. These funds will assist the Commission’s mission of promoting economic opportunities for this region of the state.”

University of South Alabama - Center for the Study of Rural Vehicular Trauma - $500,000

Senator Shelby said, “The bill provides $500,000 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.

University of South Alabama Center for Coastal Transportation Engineering Research - $750,000

The Center for Coastal Transportation Engineering Research at USA will develop, conduct, coordinate and disseminate results of the most recent research findings concerning civil engineering design of transportation systems in environmentally-sensitive coastal areas.

Orange Beach Senior Activity Center - $100,000

The bill provides $100,000 for the purchase of buses to improve mobility options for seniors in the City of Orange Beach and surrounding areas.

Alabama Inland Waters Freight Mobility Study - $750,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used to explore how intermodal transportation, particularly the use of Alabama’s inland waterways, can better enable U.S. manufacturers and producers to compete for new trade opportunities. Greater use of our inland waterways for the transport of freight has the potential to reduce the number of trucks required and therefore alleviate some of the highway congestion motorists currently encounter.”

The Center for the Living Arts - $500,000

The Center for the Living Arts will receive $500,000 to assist with renovations that will allow the center to fulfill its arts and education missions.

Alabama Area Agencies on Aging - $1 Million

Senator Shelby said, “The bill includes $1 million for the Alabama Area Agencies on Aging to provide increased transportation opportunities for Alabama’s senior citizens.”

Easter Seals Project ACTION - $3 Million

Senator Shelby said, “Easter Seals Project ACTION promotes cooperation between the transportation industry and the disability community to increase mobility for people with disabilities. These funds will assist them in their efforts to further this program.”

Southern Fuel Cell Coalition - $500,000

These funds will be used to establish 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.

AGRICULTURE

Tri State Initiative - $567,000

Senator Shelby said, "I am pleased the bill includes $567,000 for the Tri-State Initiative, which is a multi-state project devoted to developing sustainable production systems for conventional and specialty crops.” The primary objective of this project is to develop an economically and environmentally sustainable sod based crop production system appropriate for the biological and social conditions of the southeastern United States. This production system would include cattle, row crops, pharmaceutical herbs, fruit and vegetables. This project will deliver a viable production system for small farms, including family farms as well as a large number of minority and presently under funded farmers. Large farms will also benefit from the project and obtain higher yields at reduced costs and allow young people to enter into a profitable farming career.

Precision Agricultural Partnership - $604,000

Senator Shelby said, "This bill includes $604,000 for the Precision Agricultural Partnership, which conducts research to increase farm and forest productivity. This project uses technologies such as remote sensing, geographic information systems and global positioning systems to aid traditional methods of farming and forestry."

Alabama Beef Connection - $393,000

Senator Shelby said, "This bill includes funding for the Alabama Beef Connection program. This new program will allow us to track cattle as they move from farm to market and will provide greater information to public health officials who monitor beef products."

Nursery, Greenhouse and Turf Specialties Research - $275,000

Senator Shelby said, "This continued funding will support research of greenhouse, nursery and turf horticultural products. The research will focus on areas such as new and improved pest resistant plant strains, utilization of new technologies in production, and strategies for crop scheduling. As the largest economic plant industry in Alabama, research in these areas are needed to maintain and fuel the industry's growth."

Improved Crop Production Practices - $1.425 Million

Senator Shelby said, "This funding will allow Auburn University, Alabama A & M and Tuskegee University to conduct joint research of conservation tillage, precision agriculture and management of poultry litter."

Isabel and Wiley Hill Conservation Education Center - $450,000

Senator Shelby said, “This bill includes $450,000 for a cooperative program with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) for conservation education. The DCNR will work cooperatively with the Alabama Wildlife Federation to provide educational materials on conservation and natural resources through the Isabel and Wiley Hill Conservation Education Center in Millbrook, Alabama.”

COMMERCE, JUSTICE, STATE

University of South Alabama, Mobile Bay Oyster Recovery Program - $800,000

Senator Shelby said, "The University of South Alabama, in cooperation with the Alabama Department of Conservation, will use the $800,000 included in this legislation to continue conducting surveys and work on the reseeding program in Mobile Bay. The program will attempt to restore productive oyster reefs in areas that have experienced reef loss due to environmental and harvesting factors. A resurgence of the oyster beds will significantly impact the water quality and clarity in Mobile Bay, as well as assist the Bay in fostering survival of sea grass meadows and marine species such as blue crab, sea trouts, and some snappers and grouper."

University of South Alabama, Youth Violence Prevention Research - $700,000

Senator Shelby said, “The funding provided in this legislation will allow the University of South Alabama, in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Youth Services, to conduct a research service project targeted at reducing juvenile violence and crime. The project will involve the creation and evaluation of juvenile justice programs and will focus on programs targeted toward rural areas where the largest percentage of increases in juvenile crime have occurred in recent years.”

Orange Beach Coastal and Estaurine Land Acquisition - $1 Million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will provide the City of Orange Beach the opportunity to acquire Robinson Island in order to preserve and protect the island’s natural habitat and resources.”

Gulf State Consumer Education Programs - $1 Million

Senator Shelby said, “This funding will be used for the Gulf state regulatory agencies and Gulf state non-profit business associations to implement an effective education program focusing on Vibrio Vulnificus within their respective states. The industry council has proven the ability to produce and distribute invaluable information to consumers on the concerns with oyster consumption. In working with state regulatory agencies, the non-profits will be able to provide important information to educate the consumer and ensure that “at-risk” populations are properly informed and that the general public is an educated consumer.”

National Fatherhood Initiative - $2,084,650

Senator Shelby said, "This bill provides $2,084,650 for the National Fatherhood Initiative. This project will study the causes and consequences of out-of-wedlock childbirth, including the impact illegitimacy has on criminal activity and welfare dependence. The funds will also be used to develop and promote pro-family practices as a solution to these problems. The Initiative's work will be conducted by a consortium which includes the National Fatherhood Institute and the Alabama Policy Institute."

National Center For Missing and Exploited Children - $26.9 Million

Senator Shelby said, "The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has helped to locate thousands of missing children and has coordinated with law enforcement agencies throughout the nation to develop protocols for preventing child abduction and abuse. The funding they will receive will help NCMEC maintain and expand their National Resource Center and Clearinghouse, the police technology project, LOCATER; expand the NetSmartz Workshop, and address other items. In addition, $3 million of these funds will be used for the training program provided by the Jimmy Ryce Law Enforcement Training Center.”

Regional Information Sharing System - $40 Million

Senator Shelby said, "The Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) Program is composed of six regional centers that share intelligence and coordinate efforts against criminal networks that operate in many locations across jurisdictional lines. Typical targets of RISS activities are drug trafficking, terrorism, violent crime, cybercrime, gang activity, and organized criminal activities."

Alabama Bureau of Investigation's Missing Children Program - $400,000

Senator Shelby said, "This project will provide funding to increase available resources for Missing and Exploited Children investigations. The funding will bolster this critical program and provide the necessary resources for the ABI to quickly and efficiently recover missing children and prosecute the offenders. Investigative resources will include personnel and equipment, training, as well as resources for public education issues surrounding Missing & Exploited Children."

Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program - $109 Million

Senator Shelby said, "The Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program continues to be a success story by partnering federal, state, public and private entities in order to assist small and mid-sized American manufacturers modernize so that they may compete in the global marketplace."

ENERGY AND WATER

WATERWAY PROJECTS

The legislation provides funds for a number of Alabama waterway projects. Senator Shelby said, “Alabama’s waters are an important part of our national inland waterway transportation system, while serving as an economic necessity for businesses in Alabama and across the nation. Numerous industries depend on an efficient waterway infrastructure to transport goods, and adequate funding is critical in order to avoid interruptions to the river flow traffic.”

The bill has provided funding for a number of Army Corps of Engineers projects in Alabama. These funds have been provided for the Corps' ongoing operation and maintenance activities on the waterways listed below:

  • Alabama - Coosa Comprehensive Water Study - $500,000

  • Alabama - Coosa River - $4 million

  • Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers - $5,231,000

  • Bayou La Batre - $100,000

  • Gulf Intracoastal Waterway - $5 million

  • Inspection of Completed Works - $50,000

  • Millers Ferry Lock and Dam, William Bill Dannelly Lake - $2.727 million

  • Mobile Harbor - $21 million (includes $1 million to continue Garrows Bend environmental restoration)

  • Robert F. Henry Lock and Dam - $4.464 million

  • Walter F. George Lock and Dam - $5.989 million

  • Black Warrior-Tombigbee Waterway - $19,539,000

  • Tennessee River O & M - $17 million

  • Tennessee - Tombigbee Waterway - $23,004,000

  • Tennessee Tombigbee Wildlife Mitigation Payments - $2 Million

  • Kentucky Lock and Dam, KY - $32.5 million

  • Chickamauga Lock, TN - $18.08 million

These funds have been provided for the Corps' General Investigations works:

  • Brewton and East Brewton, AL - $145,000

  • Cahaba River Watershed, AL - $75,000

  • Village Creek, Jefferson County (Birmingham Watershed) - $233,000

These funds have been provided to the Corps for construction and major rehabilitation projects on the following waterways:

  • Walter F. George Powerhouse and Dam, AL & GA $1.7 million

  • Walter F. George Powerplant, AL & GA - $6 million

  • Duck River - $100,000

Smart Energy Management Control System at the Univ. of South Alabama - $1 Million

These funds will be used for University of South Alabama research, in cooperation with industry and the Cooperative Research Network of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, on a fuel cell powered home using the Smart Energy Management Control System.

Appalachian Regional Commission - $66 million

Sen. Shelby said, "This legislation provides $66 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission. This funding will allow the Appalachian Regional Commission to continue their efforts to bring economic development and increased infrastructure to this region of the United States."

Delta Regional Authority - $6,048,000

Sen. Shelby said, "The Delta Regional Authority was established three years ago and created an eight state region of the country, including 20 counties in Alabama, eligible for additional transportation and infrastructure funding, as well as funds for economic development and skills training. This year's appropriations bill provides $6,048,000 for the Delta Regional Authority."

FOREIGN OPERATIONS

University of South Alabama’s Birth Defects Monitoring Program

The bill allows for the University of South Alabama's Birth Defects Monitoring Program to be eligible for funding by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Senator Shelby said, "I am very pleased that the Senate has again recognized the importance of this program and supports the work of the Birth Defects Monitoring Program at the University of South Alabama. This program is nearing conclusion and the language in this bill supports the orderly termination of this investigation of environmental causes of birth defects in the Ukraine."

INTERIOR

Mobile Tensaw Delta - $1.2 Million

This bill provides $1.2 million for acquisition of a proposed total of 10,000 acres of pristine forest lands in Mobile Tensaw River Delta. This will complement 54,000 acres that have already been secured in the area. Senator Shelby said, "These funds will assist in the efforts of federal, state and local entities to conserve and manage this unique ecosystem."

Alabama National Forest - $1.9 Million

This funding will assist in the purchase of land, from willing sellers only, within the boundaries of Alabama's National Forests. The National Forests in Alabama represent the largest area of publicly owned land in Alabama, covering approximately 665,661 acres. Senator Shelby said, "This year's funding will aid in the continued protection and preservation of our wildlife and natural resources in this area."

Alabama Rural Economic Action Program for Underserved Distressed Counties - $500,000

This funding will assist the forest industry in underserved communities and distressed counties to create and retain jobs to stimulate economic development in the State of Alabama. Senator Shelby said, "The forest industry in Alabama is suffering from difficult times with the loss of more than 4,000 jobs due to plant closures, layoffs, and downsizing. Users of the program will receive direct practical assistance to create and retain jobs, expand the use of productive technologies, reach new markets, and improve the utilization of forest resources."

LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, EDUCATION


University of South Alabama Cancer Research Institute - $20 Million

Senator Shelby said, "I am very proud to have played an instrumental role in the creation of a regional academic cancer research institute at the University of South Alabama. As a cancer survivor, I know firsthand the importance of this regional center. Here they will study the causes, prevention and treatment of cancer, as well as provide the upper Gulf Coast with greater local access to state-of-the-art cancer treatment."

These funds will help the Cancer Research Institute continue the growth of this comprehensive cancer research, patient care and education center serving south central Alabama, south central Mississippi, and northwest Florida. The area served by the Cancer Research Institute, consisting of 42 counties and over 2.5 million persons, currently has no comprehensive academic-level cancer center or research institute. As the only academically-based healthcare institution within its 42-county service area, these funds will help USA in its effort to bring state-of-the-art cancer research and patient care services to the region in order to develop the comprehensive cancer program.

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN AFFAIRS (VA-HUD)

Mitchell College of Business Library - $400,000

The University of South Alabama is making improvements related to the Mitchell College of Business Library in Mobile, Alabama. The funding included in this bill will assist the University in these efforts.

City of Fairhope for the Fairhope Library - $250,000

Senator Shelby said, “The City of Fairhope has always provided its citizens with access to books through a free or public library. I am pleased these funds will be used to continue this tradition by assisting with construction costs associated with building a new library.”

Center for Estuarine Research at the University of South Alabama - $1 Million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased to announce funding for the ongoing research activities conducted by the Center specifically related to ecology of coastal lands and seascapes. This funding will allow the University of South Alabama to continue the important ecological research that it is conducting in the Gulf Coast and Mobile Bay areas. The knowledge gained from this research provides important scientific insights that can be used to preserve and protect coastal plants and wildlife.”

Auburn University Mobile Delta Initiative - $300,000

Senator Shelby said, “The Mobile-Tensaw River Delta is a large ecosystem in South Alabama where the freshwater of Alabama's rivers mix with the saltwater of Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. This large, diverse area is extremely important to the State of Alabama both biologically and economically. These funds will be used to establish the Mobile Delta Initiative, which will allow for the development of plans for the sustainable use of the Delta for such economically important activities as eco-tourism and sport fishing.”

Alabama Department of Environmental Management - $1 Million

Senator Shelby said, “This funding will allow the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to conduct field training for Alabama water and wastewater operators across the state.”

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