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Omnibus Spending Bill Includes More Than $360 Million Dollars for Oregon Projects

by Press release
Salem-News, December 26, 2007

The spending measure will fund numerous Oregon projects ranging from agriculture, energy and water, to education and job training projects.

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) have announced that more than $360 million was included for Oregon projects in the recently passed 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Bill (HR 2764).

Commonly referred to as the omnibus spending bill, HR.2764 - which passed both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives - includes 11 of the 12 regular appropriations measures that assign discretionary funding for each of the federal government's agencies.

The spending measure will fund numerous Oregon agriculture, energy and water, natural resources, transportation, infrastructure, community development, and health, education, and job training projects.

"From combating meth addiction to improving mass transit to protecting our most precious natural resources, the funding in this bill will go directly to making Oregon an even better place to live, work and play," said Wyden.

"This vital funding helps ensure our kids are healthy and receive a quality education, our seniors get the care they need and our economy stays strong and growing," Smith said. "Congress finally reached common ground to keep critical support going to the programs that need it most."

Highlights of the 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Bill include:

  1. $984,000 for the acquisition of 17 acres near the old town of Bridal Veil within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The National Scenic Area protects the cultural and natural resources of the Gorge.

  2. $78 million to add an 8.3 mile light rail extension to the MAX in Portland. The extension will connect downtown Portland with Clackamas Regional Center and will run along I-205.

  3. $7 million for the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) for research and development of nanomaterials and nanomanufacturing technology, for the Nanoelectronics and Nanometrology Initiative, and for the miniature tactical energy systems development program.

  4. More than $2.6 million for methamphetamine prevention and enforcement programs across the state of Oregon including the Baker City Drug Detection Canine Program, the Multnomah County Stomp Out Meth Project (STOMP) and the South Coast Interagency Narcotics Team.

  5. $2.4 million to expand and renovate the Redmond Airport Terminal to accommodate larger aircraft. Added capacity will allow the airport to attract additional flights and continue to be a major engine for economic growth in the region.

  6. $1.2 million for SAM Medical Products of Newport and Tigard to support research and development of a new chitosan-based material which stops bleeding by serving as a clotting agent. Chitosan-based material is used by the military and has important domestic applications for ambulance crews and other first responders.

  7. $40 million for the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act which provides funding to states, colleges, universities and tribes to help raise awareness and educate people about mental illness and the risk of suicide. Funds also are used to help identify young people with mental illness and allow states to expand access to treatment options. The State of Oregon, as well as multiple local programs, including the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest in Portland, Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton and all eight of Oregon's public universities are among grant recipients.

  8. $295,320 to finish the restoration of the Cloud Cap Inn. Built in 1889, Cloud Cap is the oldest building on Mt. Hood and one of the few remaining structures in the nation once utilized by hikers and skiers during the turn of the 20th century. Today, with the help of many volunteers, it serves as a base for winter search and rescue efforts on Mt Hood.

  9. $14.7 million for the Columbia River Channel Improvement Project, to continue deepening of the 103-mile channel from the mouth of the Columbia River up to Portland by 3 feet (40 to 43 feet) The project also creates or enhances 2,000 acres of fish and wildlife habitat.

  10. $14 million for operation and maintenance of the Bonneville Lock and Dam, including the navigation lock, fish passage, and recreation facilities. In addition, funding is included for continued clean-up the contamination at Bradford Island, repairs at the spillway, and improvements to various infrastructure issues.

  11. $23.4 million to dredge the Columbia River from the mouth to Portland and Vancouver, including completion of a dredged material management plan for future dredging of high spots in the lower Willamette section.

  12. $14.5 million, for maintenance dredging at the mouth of the Columbia River Jetty and repairs to the north jetty.

  13. $4.3 million for normal operation and maintenance of the John Day Lock and Dam.

Press release
Omnibus Spending Bill Includes More Than $360 Million Dollars for Oregon Projects
Salem-News, December 26, 2007

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