U.S. Senator Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following list of projects that will receive funding in the Omnibus Appropriations bill, which includes 9 separate appropriation bills for the remaining part of Fiscal Year 2009.
Key projects funded in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill include:
• $51.1 million for Center Hill Dam to continue design efforts and continue grouting to correct seepage concerns.
• $42 million for Chickamauga Lock to continue lock design, real estate acquisition for the lock contract, and cofferdam construction. The bill also includes funding to continue with aggressive maintenance and the installation of additional horizontal post-tensioning at the existing lock.
• $54.5 million for Wolf Creek Dam to continue construction to correct seepage concerns at the dam.
Key projects funded in the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill include:
• $2.4 million for the Tennessee Statewide Methamphetamine Task Force to continue providing comprehensive training and integrated equipment, which will allow officers to more effectively report lab seizures, quarantine contaminated sites, and track and target serious and repeat offenders.
• $1 million for the Memphis Regional Law Enforcement Project to combat an increase in violent crime and gang activity in the greater Memphis area, which combines resources from the City of Memphis, Shelby County, University of Memphis and the Shelby County District Attorney General.
• $350,000 for the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center to address the need for safer communities through the advanced training of state and local law enforcement leaders.
• $400,000 for NASA’s Virtual Learning Magnet School for Space Science and Math program, a competitively awarded program administered by NASA to promote science education and encourage young people to seek careers in science based fields.
• $755,000 for Jackson, Tennessee’s Offender Management/Teen Crime Project. This project is designed to prevent at-risk youth from entering into long-term adult involvement in the criminal justice system.
• $400,000 for Childhelp of East Tennessee’s Child Abuse Treatment Program. The program works to ensure that abuse cases are fully investigated and key evidence is collected and preserved, making prosecution of offenders more successful.
• $500,000 for the University of Tennessee Space Institute for Atmospheric Science Research to acquire the specialized atmospheric and environmental research instrumentation to enhance the understanding of major climate, weather, and health related issues.
• $200,000 for Rhodes College to expand their NASA Stars Program. This program trains middle school teachers in Shelby County integrate a NASA-sanctioned science curriculum into their science lesson plans.
• $750,000 for Tennessee Technological University for the science, technology and engineering teaching program.
Key projects funded in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill include:
• $1.425 million for US Route 64 for construction and reconstruction of the US64/SR 15 four-lane corridor being developed to connect the Memphis region to I-24 west of Chattanooga, designated as a strategic regional corridor in the state’s long-range transportation plan.
• $712,500 for the Nashville International Airport for the reconstruction and improvements of Runway 2L-20R.
• $1.425 million for East Tennessee Human Resources Agency to replace wheelchair accessible vehicles which provide transportation to the elderly and disabled in a 16 county area to medical and other appointments.
• $1.52 million for the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center for expansion and improvements to the Heritage Center and to provide bus access to Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
• $950,000 for State Route 317 to provide a connection between the new Enterprise South Industrial Park interchange on I-75 and Collegedale in Hamilton County.
• $475,000 for Interstate 69. This funding is in addition to the more than $113 million secured previously to fund construction of Interstate 69 within the State of Tennessee.
Key projects funded in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill include:
• $670,000 for the Pellissippi Centre on the Oak Ridge Corridor, a technology park that is designed to provide assistance to businesses working with Oak Ridge National Lab and the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex. This funding will help with the development of a technology park that has scientific expertise available to help companies foster and develop business ventures based on technological advances and new discoveries made by the national lab complex and its scientists.
Key projects funded in the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill include:
• $1.5 million Cherokee National Forest Work Center Improvements. The current work center, located in a commercial area which is costly to maintain, will be disposed of and a new less costly facility closer to the Forest will be constructed.
• $5 million for acquisition of Rocky Fork, a 10,000+ acre tract of land in Unicoi and Greene Counties. This project was ranked #1 by the U.S. Forest Service for all federal land acquisition projects.
• $800,000 for the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge (TNWR) for planning and design of administrative offices and visitors center on-site at the refuge. Currently, TNWR is located in a rented facility 20 minutes away from the nearest site on the refuge.
• $400,000 for the Tennessee State Museum for preservation measures to protect the valuable and endangered artifacts of the most significant collections.
• $90,000 for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for design of a facility to display the Park’s artifacts and create an environment that will promote historical research and education. Currently, GSMNP is paying approximately $40,000/year to store the artifacts in a rental facility.
• $500,000 for Town of Surgoinsville to provide sewer service to Surgoinsville Elementary and Middle School. The schools are currently served by a deteriorating treatment plant needing replacement.
• $1.1 million for Unicoi County for improvements to its well water treatment plant. This upgrade is needed to reduce the vulnerability of Unicoi County’s public water supply to contamination of the groundwater and to decrease its susceptibility to potential contamination from railroad spills.
• $300,000 for West Knox Utility District and Ball Camp Community to provide sanitary sewer service to the Ball Camp Community, which has a failed septic system affecting 2,750 people in Knox County.
Key projects funded in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and related Agencies Appropriations bill include:
• $523,000 for the Hickman Community Hospital and Lyles Clinic.
• $476,000 for the Shelby County Regional Medical Center for the emergency room expansion project.
• $95,000 for the KIPP Foundation to support the KIPP DIAMOND Academy in Memphis and KIPP Academy Nashville.
• $476,000 for Middle Tennessee State University for the Teachers Now Program, a comprehensive math and science teacher training program.
• $571,000 for Meharry Medical College for the health sciences library revitalization project.
• $500,000 for Tennessee Tech University for the Nursing School/Center for Rural Health.
Key projects funded in the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill include:
• $235,000 for Tennessee Natural Resources Conservation Service. This project will provide additional technical assistance directly to Tennessee landowners for projects that will protect, enhance and preserve the state’s natural resources through the installation of best management practices.
• $700,000 for the University of Tennessee (UT) in Knoxville to support the Phytosensors for Crop Security and Precision Agriculture Program. UT is among the world’s leaders in “phytosensor” technology: using biotechnology to produce plants that are used to monitor the environment on a large scale. The project seeks to combine state-of-the art technologies to produce crop plants that can be used directly as early-warning sentinels for the detection of plant diseases.
• $4.55 million for the Wood Utilization Special Research Grant program which provides more than $450,000 annually to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville to support utilization horticulture research. The University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture is one of 10 centers nationwide that takes part in the wood utilization research program. The program supports the research and development of engineered wood products including composites, strand-oriented materials and other value-added products that are important to Tennessee’s forestry industry.