Alexander, Frist Announce Nearly $10 Million for East Tennessee Projects

Posted on December 3, 2003

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today announced that the Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 Omnibus Conference Report includes nearly $10 million for East Tennessee. The conference report, which includes seven appropriations bills, could be voted on by the House and Senate as early as next week.

"This funding is an investment in East Tennessee and in the state's growing economy," said Frist. "These projects will help create jobs, improve health care and education, and spur economic growth and development in East Tennessee. I'm please so many projects have been included in the conference report to benefit this vital region."

"These are important projects for East Tennessee," Alexander said. "Advancements in clean energy alternatives and transportation technologies will mean more jobs. The bill also invests in health care, education and cultural projects for the region."

The proposed funding for East Tennessee in the omnibus conference report includes:

Agriculture

Establishes the University of Tennessee in Knoxville as one of five regional sun grant research centers to promote the use of biobased energy technologies. The five regional centers, including UT, will address the nation's energy security needs through the development of biobased energy technologies and products. Specifically, the bill authorizes $25 million to carry out this initiative beginning in FY 2005, increasing to $75 million in FY 2007.

  • $450,000 for the University of Tennessee for wood utilization projects, as well as additional funding to support collaborative Agricultural Research Service (ARS) ornamental research with Tennessee State University.

Commerce, Justice and State

  • $300,000 for the East Tennessee Ozone Study (NOAA), which is used to monitor ground-level ozone and other air pollutants in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

VA-HUD

  • $1.4 million State and Tribal Assistance Grant for Newport/Cocke County to improve water infrastructure.

  • $500,000 Economic Development Initiative for the Chattanooga Riverfront.

Labor/HHS

  • $750,000 for the University of Tennessee Medical Center High Risk Newborn Services Expansion Project.

  • $500,000 for the St. Mary's Medical Center in Campbell County to expand health care and emergency service facilities, upgrade equipment and improve patient care.

  • $500,000 for East Tennessee Forensics Center at East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine to renovate an existing building to house a morgue and toxicology laboratory.

  • $200,000 for the A.K. Stewart Science Hall at Knoxville College to restore science laboratories and classroom facilities.

  • $100,000 for the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough.

Transportation

  • $2 million to continue development of the Knoxville Electric Intermodal Center.

  • $1 million to conduct electric transit vehicle research and development at the Advanced Transportation Technology Institute in Chattanooga.

  • $2 million for Intermodal Transportation Corridor from Atlanta to Chattanooga.

  • $6.5 million to improve statewide bus facilities and replace aging buses.

  • $5.75 million for the statewide Job Access and Reverse Commuter Grants to support job access programs.

Now that the conference report has been filed, it must be passed by the House and the Senate. The House is expected to vote on the legislation as early as next week. All non-defense programs and projects funded in the omnibus appropriations package are subject to a .59 percent across-the-board reduction.