(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced critical federal funding for King County and Seattle priorities in the fiscal year 2008 Omnibus Appropriations bill.
Due to the threat of Presidential vetoes of America’s domestic spending priorities, Congress combined several appropriations bills into one large “Omnibus bill,” which should pass both houses this week. The Omnibus package contains critical funding for national needs like transportation, homeland security, education, labor and health.
"This federal support is the seed money that helps our communities grow," said Senator Murray. "I am proud to have helped steer this funding to community-supported projects here at home. I work everyday to ensure that even though our state's residents are 2,500 miles from D.C., their needs are up-front and center. At a time when domestic and local needs are too often being neglected, these worthy projects are getting the support they deserve."
This spending bill is expected to be cleared by the U.S. House of Representatives tonight and sent to the Senate tomorrow.
Below are the projects included for King County. They are separated by project type:
Sound Transit, Link Light Rail -- $68,600,000
Sound Transit is constructing an initial 14-mile light rail system from downtown Seattle to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Senator Murray has previously secured $310 million for this project.
Sound Transit, University Link -- $19,600,000
University Link will extend light rail from downtown Seattle north to the University of Washington. This corridor is the most densely developed residential and employment area in the central Puget Sound region and state. University Link received the highest rating from the Federal Transit Administration in the “Annual New Starts Report for FY 2007.” This funding will support Sound Transit’s efforts to complete final design and continue with property acquisitions.
Highpoint Neighborhood Center Construction -- $588,000
The Seattle Housing Authority is nearing completion of a redevelopment of the former public housing community at High Point, which has one of the highest concentrations of poverty in Seattle. The High Point Neighborhood Center will provide a variety of programs such as Head Start, employment training, youth tutoring, adult education, and other programs to assist low-income individuals and families. The funding secured by Senator Murray will be used to replace existing facilities with a new center.
El Centro de la Raza, Facility Improvements -- $294,000
Funding secured by Senator Murray will help El Centro de la Raza complete their capital campaign to update their century-old building. Specifically, funding will assist with the cost of replacing the facility’s roof, which is in dire need of replacement. El Centro de la Raza offers a range of services that include child care and development, after school programs, homeless assistance, first-time homeownership workshops and counseling, English-as-a-Second Language classes, and senior wellness and meal programs, among others.
Coal Creek Parkway Expansion, Newcastle -- $686,000
This project will widen Coal Creek Parkway from two to four travel lanes and will include sidewalks, bike lanes, curbs, gutters, and drainage facilities. This project will also include the replacing of the existing two-lane May Creek Bridge with a new, four-lane one. Coal Creek Parkway is the only north and south roadway alternative to I-405 between the cities of Bellevue and Renton, which makes it a vital regional corridor.
Asian Counseling and Referral Service, New Building Construction -- $490,000
The Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) provides a variety of services for the Asian Pacific American community in the Seattle-area, including: mental health and substance abuse treatment, domestic violence intervention, job training, naturalization assistance, food bank and nutrition programs, elderly care, and a legal clinic. Serving 18,000 clients a year in more than 30 languages, the ACRS has been recognized as a national leader in providing services to low-income Asian Pacific Americans. The funding secured by Senator Murray will support this effort and enable the ACRS to provide greater access to these critical services.
Hiawatha Village Low Income Housing Development, Seattle -- $735,000
This funding will help complete the construction of Hiawatha Village, which is a unique and innovative structure that seeks to maintain affordability in a low-income Seattle neighborhood. The 102-unit condominium development will sell 52 of its units to low-income, first-time homebuyers, and some of the units will only be available for re-sale to other low-income families. This project will promote property investment and provide low- and moderate-income families with affordable and quality units. This funding will complete the project.
Vashon Island Passenger Ferry, King County -- $588,000
The Vashon Island Passenger Only Ferry is the only direct mode of transportation between Vashon Island and downtown Seattle. The ferry is crucial for the residents of Vashon Island, and allows the retailers and businesses located there to be economically successful. This funding will allow for increased accessibility between Vashon and Seattle, reduce commute times, and encourage commuters to use public transportation.
Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club -- $490,000
The Boys and Girls Clubs of King County needs to replace the current Rainier Vista facility, which is being demolished as part of the redevelopment of the former Rainier Vista public housing project. This funding will assist the Boys and Girls Club in building a new, expanded facility that will allow for expanded programming and services.
Nisei Veterans Memorial Hall Renovations -- $245,000
The funding provided will complete the Nisei Veterans Committee renovation project at its Memorial Hall in Seattle. It will allow for expanded educational activities about the internment and military service of Japanese Americans during WWII. In addition, it will enable the Nisei Veterans Committee to restart its low-income seniors’ lunch program.
Passage Point Transitional Housing Construction, King County -- $490,000
This project is a partnership between King County and the YWCA, which is redeveloping the Passage Point property into a 70-unit transitional housing project. The housing will be aimed at stabilizing families where a parent is coming out of prison and seeking to re-unite with their children, with the goals of reducing homelessness and recidivism. The campus-like setting will also provide treatment and counseling, and will serve to foster healthy parent-child relationships. This funding will complete the construction and the project.
South Lake Union Streetcar Project Capital Improvements -- $788,900
This project will help complete the City of Seattle’s South Lake Union revitalization plan by building a streetcar line connecting Westlake Center to the South Lake Union neighborhood. The Streetcar will increase access to the new waterfront park, is vital for attracting job development, and will help to improve and upgrade the Mercer Street corridor and essential utilities.
Auburn A-B Street NW Corridor Connector -- $1,234,800
This project will link three grade separated arterials between Auburn Station and S. 277th Street. The project is part of a comprehensive downtown revitalization plan for Auburn’s downtown core. The funding secured by Senator Murray will complete the final phase of the project and fund construction from 10th Street to 14th Street.
Des Moines Creek Trail Access Project -- $490,000
This funding will support efforts by the City of Des Moines to increase public access between the Des Moines Beach Park National Historic District, Des Moines Marina, and Des Moines Business District. This connection will support expanded recreational, cultural and historic tourism activities. The Des Moines Creek Trail is part of the larger Puget Sound regional trail system.
Advanced Materials in Transport Aircraft Structures – $672,280
This mark doubles the annual funding the center has been operating on for the last three years. The AMTAS center at the University of Washington is an FAA Center of Excellence where extensive research and testing and training is conducted on composite materials. This program has contributed significantly to the 787 effort.
Spiroid Winglet Fuel Efficiency Research -- $2,016,840
The funding will go toward the spiroid research project that would explore next generation winglet designs and technologies to enhance wing lift and stability and generate increased aircraft fuel efficiency. Given the current impact of fuel prices on airline cost drivers and concerns about aircraft engine emissions, any improvement in aircraft fuel efficiency through next generation winglet technologies translates into decreased pollution, increased aircraft efficiency and performance, and reduced airline fuel costs.
Pacific Highway South Bus Rapid Transit-- $13,794,480
This funding would go toward the Pacific Highway South RapidRide project which runs from Sound Transit's Light Rail Station at 154th Street (north of SeaTac Airport) to the Federal Way Transit Center (near SeaTac Mall), a distance of 10.35 miles. The funding will increase efficient bus service to a rapidly growing area of King County.
Washington State Ferries -- $5,000,000
This funding will go toward Washington state ferries and is from the federal Ferry Boats and Ferry Terminal Facilities Program.
Commerce and Justice Projects
Norcom 911 Center – $1,767,200
These funds will help create a new regional dispatch partnership in eastern King County that will enhance the ability for police and fire agencies to communicate with each other and therefore better respond to public safety emergencies. Norcom will serve a population of 650,000 and cover over 1,200 square miles. Norcom will be housed at the City of Bellevue Communications Center, which already dispatches for two police departments and all 13 fire departments in northern King county.
Energy and Water Projects
Green and Duwamish River Ecosystem Restoration – $1,626,000
This restoration project is a comprehensive program for the entire Green/Duwamish River ecosystem from the tidal estuaries to the spawning and wildlife habitat areas in the upper basin. The funding will go toward river basin restoration supported by King County, the cities of Kent, Tukwilla, Covington, Renton, and numerous other cities and communities.
Puget Sound and Adjacent Waters – $2,952,000
The goal of the Puget Sound and Adjacent Waters Restoration Program is to recover ecosystem processes and habitats that have been altered or destroyed through development within the basin. To achieve this goal, projects will be prioritized based on criteria developed in consultation with tribal governments, Federal, state, and local agencies and stakeholders.
Elliot Bay Seawall Study – $590,000
This funding will go toward a study to document the problems and opportunities associated with the seawall and formulate potential plans for a solution. The 70-year-old Alaskan Way Seawall is failing and needs to be replaced. Tiny marine organisms, known as gribbles, are attacking and significantly weakening the wood timbers that make up the structural support of the seawall.
Puget Sound Nearshore – $1,279,000
These funds will support identification, design, and construction of the best habitat restoration sites in the areas along the bank of the Puget Sound.
Lake Washington Ship Canal Restoration – $369,000
These funds will support habitat and ecosystem restoration efforts in the Lake Washington Ship Canal watershed. This is critical to the region’s environmental and economic future.
Health Care Projects
Community Health Education and Simulation Center -- $957,967
This funding will go toward providing Seattle residents with a central location to access hands-on healthcare training, education on diseases, hospital services, and general health care information.
Cutting Edge Cancer Treatment -- $1,436,459
This funding will go toward Seattle Cancer Care Alliance's (SCCA) Proton Therapy Center. Proton beam therapy, which involves an external beam of radiation delivering proton ions within the body, is considered one of the major advances in radiation therapy. The primary difference between proton beam therapy and conventional radiation therapy is the precise delivery of radiation to the tumor without damaging healthy tissues surrounding the tumor, a great advancement in cancer treatment.
SeaTac Job Training -- $95,305
This funding will help airport workers get the education and training they need to move toward higher paying jobs. The program is run by Port Jobs in partnership with South Seattle Community College and is located at SeaTac International Airport.
Puget Sound Regional Economic Development Initiative -- $354,464
The purpose of this grant is to work in partnership with the Prosperity Partnership to increase communication, training and development in the expanding fields of Clean Technology and Trade and Logistics.
Jumpstart Seattle - $229,912
Jumpstart is an early education program that recruits UW students to mentor low-income preschool children in order to build their language and literacy, social, and initiative skills. The program works to create an environment of life-long learning and literacy for children. Jumpstart partners with the Denise Louie Education Center and First A.M.E Child and Family Center to serve the Beacon Hill, Chinatown-International District, Capitol Hill, and Central Neighborhoods.
Deaf-Blind Service Center, Seattle - $335,043
The Deaf Blind Service Center trains individuals that provide assistance to deaf-blind persons with day-to-day tasks. This funding will expand the center to a Statewide Support Service Providers Pilot program that will help deaf-blind citizens from across Washington state become more independent.
Northwest Center, Seattle - $191,593
Northwest Center is a well-established organization that provides services and resources to children teens and adults with developmental disabilities. This funding will be used to open a Family Resource Center that will provide early childhood education, childcare programs and parent education classes.