News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced critical federal funding for Island County 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 Island County. They are separated by project type:

Military Construction Projects

Indoor Washrack, NAS Whidbey -- $10,610,000
This project will go toward building an indoor washing facility at NAS Whidbey. Nearly 400 aircraft are washed each year at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.  It takes as many as 12 sailors three hours each to wash one of these planes. Currently, sailors often have to brave high winds and cold weather to wash the aircraft.

Transportation Projects

Island Transit Vehicle Replacement -- $411,600
This funding will enable Island Transit to purchase vehicles to expand service and replace aged vehicles. This project will support rural mobility needs.

Interior Projects

Ebey's Landing -- $492,200
This funding will help complete the process of acquiring an easement on 35.5 acres within the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve is a unique and popular park established in 1978 that provides and impressive historical record of Northwest Washington. The National Park Service owns a small percentage of the Reserve outright and has purchased easements on other privately-owned parcels, but much of the land remains under private ownership.