Nov 20 2004
Conference Committee Approves FY 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act
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 the Wiregrass area and across Alabama. 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.”
$11 Million for I-10 Connector
Over $5 Million for Andalusia-Opp Airport
TRANSPORTATION, TREASURY, AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT
I -10 Connector - $11 Million
Senator Shelby said, “The bill includes $10 million for the I-10 Connector. This project will allow us to connect the Dothan and Wiregrass area with Interstate 10 in Florida. The I-10 Connector will greatly improve access and traffic flow throughout Southeastern Alabama.”
Clayton Revitalization and Enhancement Program - $250,000
Senator Shelby said, “These funds will assist the City of Clayton with their revitalization and enhancement program, which will encourage economic development opportunities and improve the quality of life for its residents.”
Andalusia-Opp Airport - $5.175 Million
Senator Shelby said, “$1.625 million has been approved to assist the Andalusia-Opp Airport with acquisition of an Instrument Landing System (ILS) and medium intensity approach lighting system with runway indicator lights. These improvements will allow the airport to operate more often and increase the safety for pilots and passengers who use this airport.”
“An additional $3.5 million was included in this bill for several improvements to be made to the Andalusia-Opp Airport including apron and taxiway construction, runway/taxiway extension design, land acquisition, runway overlay, and road relocation,” Shelby concluded.
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.
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.”
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
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."
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."
VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN AFFAIRS (VA-HUD)
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.”