Nov 20 2004

UPDATE: SHELBY ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR NORTH ALABAMA

Senate Passes FY 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act

U. S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury and General Government, announced Senate approval of the conference report to accompany H.R. 4818, the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2005. The bill will go to the President’s desk soon, which he is expected to sign into law.

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 North 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:

$13 Million for Huntsville International Airport

$4 Million for the International Fertilizer Development Center in Muscle Shoals

Billions for Space Exploration Initiatives

TRANSPORTATION, TREASURY, AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT

Huntsville Southern Bypass - $2 Million

Senator Shelby said, “This legislation provides $2 million for construction of four phases leading to a four lane highway crossing Redstone Arsenal.”

 

University of Alabama in Huntsville - $4
Million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will provide the resources for UAH to begin design and construction of an intermodal parking facility.”

 

Association for Retarded Citizens of Madison County - $350,000

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased to announce these important funds for job access and reverse commute programs for the Association for Retarded Citizens of Madison County.”

Oakwood College Shuttle Bus Project - $150,000

Senator Shelby, “These funds will assist Oakwood College in its efforts to acquire more shuttle buses for the college community. Additionally, these funds will be used to construct several shuttle bus stops on campus.”

Huntsville International Airport - $13 Million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased this bill includes $11 million to complete the construction of a control tower at the Huntsville International Airport.”

“In addition, the legislation includes $2 million to extend the intermodal air cargo access taxiway to 12,600 feet.”

Airborne Automated Flight Alert System (AAFAS) - $3 Million

AAFAS will conduct a rapid response demonstration of a prototype capability to transmit flight data from an airline using the data management and communications equipment already installed on most modern aircraft. Senator Shelby said, “This technology is extremely important to improve communication among aircraft and control towers.”

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge - $250,000

Senator Shelby said, “The Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, providing habitat to numerous species of birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians, and mammals, is a treasure in Alabama. Covering over 34,000 acres in Alabama, Wheeler NWR is also home to 10 federally listed endangered or threatened species. I am pleased this legislation includes $250,000 for the development of a Wildlife Drive so visitors may enjoy the splendor of this refuge.”

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

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

City of Huntsville Police Department - $800,000

Senator Shelby said, “The Huntsville Police Department (HDP) is in the process of overhauling technologies at their headquarters and in their patrol vehicles, and these funds will be used to upgrade the electrical capabilities of patrol vehicles to accommodate the new technology. In addition, The HPD will use the funds to participate in a pilot project involving the development of a law enforcement data sharing network including the states of Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, and Virginia. This highly refined and integrated data sharing network will improve regional law enforcement cooperation by allowing agencies to share criminal record information as well as records about people and incidents in real time.”

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

Small Arms/Light Weapons - $7 million

Senator Shelby said, “The end of the Cold War left massive stockpiles of conventional weapons in Eastern Europe and other ex-Soviet states. The Republic of Georgia, a staunch ally in the war on terrorism, is responsible for managing and protecting a number of inherited stockpiles.”

“I am pleased the Senate recognizes the importance of this issue and has provided $7 million in the Small Arms/Light Weapons account for destruction of these weapons. I am particularly pleased that the Senate has also recommended that the State Department provide sufficient funding to secure and destroy stockpiles of Soviet-era weaponry in Georgia. I look forward to working with the State Department in the coming months to support the Georgian government’s efforts,” Shelby concluded.

International Fertilizer Development Center, Muscle Shoals - $4 Million

Senator Shelby said, "I am very pleased that the conference committee has once again recognized the merits of this funding request and agreed to provide $4 million to further the work of the International Fertilizer Development Center in Muscle Shoals. In addition to the important research conducted at this facility, the facility employs numerous Muscle Shoals-area residents."

INTERIOR

Cumberland Mountains - $1.2 Million

The Cumberland Mountains project is an integral part of a comprehensive interstate approach to the conservation and management of a landscape-scale Cumberland forest ecosystem. These funds will be used to protect over 27,000 acres in Southern Cumberland Plateau in Jackson and Madison counties. Senator Shelby said, “We must continue to invest in the protection of our natural resources in Alabama. This area of Alabama is readily manageable, strategically located, and extremely important to the conservation of one of the most biologically rich habitats in the world.”

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)

NASA Funding - $16.2 Billion

Senator Shelby said, “I am very pleased the conference has agreed to fully fund the President’s budget request for NASA for fiscal year 2005. This funding represents an increase of $800 million above the appropriated level for fiscal year 2004. I am encouraged by the actions this Administration has taken to support NASA.”

Space Shuttle Program - $4.32 Billion

Senator Shelby said, "I am pleased the conference committee has fully funded the President’s request for the Space Shuttle Program for fiscal year 2005. The committee remains strongly supportive of the shuttle program and committed to helping NASA return to safe and reliable flight operations."

Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Research - $10 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am very pleased the conference committee has provided $10 million for nuclear thermal propulsion research within Project Prometheus at Marshall. This is an exciting area and one that our scientists at the Propulsion Research Laboratory are well prepared to execute.”

Propulsion Materials Microgravity Research - $5 million

"The conference committee granted my request to provide additional funding for propulsion materials microgravity research," said Shelby. "The bill provides an additional $5 million to support this important research and will help put important microgravity experiments on orbit."

Exploration Systems Simulated Test and Evaluation Environment - $3 million

Senator Shelby said, "The bill provides $3 million for NASA’s Office of Exploration Systems to develop and implement an integrated system simulation strategy to take full advantage of modeling and simulation and evaluation tools."

Commercial Technology Program - $4 million

Senator Shelby said, “The committee has provided $4 million for the Commercial Technology Program at Marshall Space Flight Center. The Fiscal Year 2005 budget had proposed to terminate funding for this program, and I am very pleased the committee has acted to restore this funding and continue this worthwhile program. The conference committee has restored $30 million for the Commercial Program within the Innovative Technology Transfer Partnership (ITTP) program.”

Knowledge Management Integrated Data Environment - $2 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased the bill provides $2 million to the Space Shuttle Main Engine Program Office at Marshall for development of a knowledge management integrated data environment. This will help the Space Shuttle Program better manage and integrate the wealth of data stored in multiple databases in order to improve management, engineering, or safety decisions.”

 

U.S. Space and Rocket Center - $1 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased the bill provided $1 million for the Space and Rocket Center to procure educational training equipment and make improvements to their numerous and valuable museum exhibits.”

North Alabama Science Center, SciQuest - $250,000

Senator Shelby said, “This funds will support the Immersive Reality Network at SciQuest in Huntsville.”

City of Fort Payne - $900,000

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased to announce these funds for the City of Fort Payne. This funding will provide significant assistance to Fort Payne as they continue to make water and sewer improvements including the replacement of a water main, pipes and a new water storage tank near Highway 11 North and Interstate 59. This project will improve the quality of life for the residents of this area.”

West Morgan/East Lawrence Water and Sewer Authority - $450,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used to expand sanitary sewer services and make much needed water system infrastructure improvements so that the authority can better serve its growing number of customers.”

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.”