Nov 20 2004

UPDATE: SHELBY ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR BIRMINGHAM AND SURROUNDING AREA

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 the Birmingham 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.”

Highlights Include:

 

  • $4 Million for Valleydale Road Widening

     

  • $4 Million for Intelligent Transportation System on US 280

     

  • $500,000 for Cahaba National Wildlife Refuge

$1 Million for Bessemer Municipal Airport

TRANSPORTATION, TREASURY, AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT

Valleydale Road Widening - $4 Million

Senator Shelby said, "The bill provides $4 million for the widening of existing pavement from three lanes to five lanes to accommodate increased traffic flow on this important artery.”

 

American Village in Montevallo - $1 Million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used for the construction of an access road, bus lanes, and parking facility at American Village in Montevallo.”

 

University of Alabama-Birmingham - Injury Control Research Center - $2 Million

Senator Shelby said, "I am pleased the legislation provides UAB's Injury Center with $2 million. The research at the center will allow us to improve and expand the Alabama Trauma Care System and reduce mortality due to trauma-related injury."

 

Jefferson County Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) - $3 Million

Senator Shelby said, "The bill provides $3 million for the Jefferson County Job Access and Reverse Commute program. The program is designed to fund projects that increase access to employment."

Birmingham Intermodal Project - $3.5 Million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will allow for the continued construction of Phase II of the Birmingham Downtown Intermodal Facility.”

Southern Consortium for Injury Biomechanics - $2 Million

Senator Shelby said, “This legislation provides $2 million to continue the important highway safety research conducted by the Southern Consortium for Injury Biomechanics (SCIB). SCIB is a consortium involving physicians, biomedical engineers and allied scientists who work cooperatively and collaboratively toward the goal of reducing vehicle crash related injuries and deaths. This research is being conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.”

Bessemer Municipal Airport - $1 Million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that the legislation includes $1 million for a runway extension project and security enhancements at the Bessemer Municipal Airport.”

Jefferson County Intelligence Transportation System on US 280 - $4 Million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased the bill includes $4 million for the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) on US 280 in Jefferson County. These funds will be used to upgrade traffic monitoring systems, including traffic light improvements and installation of additional camera systems to monitor high traffic areas particularly during emergency situations. This project is of critical importance for this very congested artery in Jefferson County.”

Composites for Mass Transit - $1 Million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used to develop composite materials for use in mass transit systems. By reducing the weight in vehicles, fuel efficiency will dramatically increase and facilitate the adaptation of alternative power systems to mass transit vehicles.”

 

Ruffner Mountain - $500,000

Senator Shelby said, “The bill includes $500,000 for Ruffner Mountain. This funding will allow the Ruffner Mountain nature preserve to establish a nature center facility and will expand the educational opportunities available at Ruffner Mountain."

 

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

Jefferson County Commission, Regional Video Conferencing System - $400,000

Senator Shelby said, “The Jefferson County Commission will use these funds for a video conferencing system, which will allow state prisoners and their attorneys to communicate via video from prisons to the Jefferson County Criminal Justice Center. This system will allow the cases to be managed more efficiently and will save the County several hundred thousand dollars per year.”

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."

 

University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Forensic Science Institute - $150,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used to complete the development of a continuing education center for the Forensic Science Institute. The center will provide invaluable in-service programs for law enforcement officials and others who are practitioners in the forensic science field.”

 

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."

 

INTERIOR

Cahaba National Wildlife Refuge - $550,000

The Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge was established in the 106th Congress, and the land that it encompasses is home to 32 animals and plants protected under the Endangered Species Act. These funds will allow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to acquire approximately 760 acres within the refuge. Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that the Committee approved these funds for the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge. This environmentally-diverse, pristine land must be protected for future generations to enjoy.”

 

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)

Town of Double Springs - $450,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used for the purchase of the Looney’s Tavern Park Complex. The complex has served as both a tourist attraction and an educational opportunity for the area’s school children for many years. I am hopeful that these funds will ensure that the Park Complex will continue to serve a vital role in the community.”

 

Coosa Valley Water Supply District - $800,000

This funding will assist Coosa Valley Water Supply District with development of a surface water supply in St. Clair County, Alabama. Senator Shelby said, “These funds will provide citizens and industry throughout the region with a steady and reliable water source.”

 

Utilities Board of the City of Helena - $1 Million
Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used by the Utilities Board of Helena to construct a well and water tank and to conduct sanitary sewer rehabilitation. These efforts will provide the citizens of Helena with a safe and reliable supply of drinking water as well as a sanitary sewer system better equipped for Helena’s continued growth.

 

Blount County Water Authority - $950,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will assist the Blount County Water Authority in developing a county water supply line. This project will benefit Blount and Cullman Counties by ensuring a safe supply of drinking water for their residents.”

 

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.”