January 22, 2004

Wyden, Smith Win Millions for Oregon Infrastructure Projects, Estuary Protection

Senators win funding for Portland's South Waterfront rebirth, numerous water projects

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today announced that Oregon will receive more than $6.5 million in economic development and infrastructure funds, including $1.2 million for redevelopment of the South Waterfront area in Portland, and also will share in a $24.5 million multi-state appropriation for estuary protection. These funds are included in the Fiscal Year 2004 omnibus funding measure that will now be signed into law by the president. "These funds will provide a significant boost to Oregon's economy by creating good paying construction jobs and supporting local initiatives," said Wyden. "By investing in everything from fiber optic networks to cleaner water, Congress is making a meaningful investment in Oregon's economic well-being." "I always try to use federal investment to create more jobs and opportunities for Oregonians," Smith said. "In addition, this bill will increase Oregon's long-term livability." The Portland Development Commission (PDC) will receive $1.2 million for the redevelopment of the North Macadam area. These funds will help develop a waterfront greenway and provide more than 200 units of affordable housing. The City of Portland will receive $200,000 to extend streetcar service to the area with the Central City Eastside Streetcar Project. In total, this effort will create construction jobs, redevelop a former industrial site and employ and house hundreds of Oregonians. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry's (OMSI) Space Science Education Distance Learning Center will receive $1 million to deliver distance learning programs to areas of rural eastern Oregon. This distance learning program will establish science programming from OMSI to school libraries, with in-person instruction via teleconferencing in 10 public school districts. The Astoria Column Cultural Heritage Project will receive $100,000 to help provide visitor facilities in Clatsop County for the upcoming Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. The project will improve the historical value of the area and help develop tourism related businesses. This project will highlight the view of Astoria's waterfront, often called the "Soul of Astoria," and bring attention to the community where Lewis and Clark spent their first winter in the West. The City of Portland's Wet Weather Demonstration Project will receive $900,000 to help clean up the Willamette River, create a healthier watershed, improve habitat for endangered fish and accomplish the goals of the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the American Heritage River Program. The Dalles Fiber Optic Loop will receive $200,000 to complete the 18-mile fiber optic loop connecting The Dalles to the Bonneville Power Administration's fiber optic network. This project will help lay the technological foundation needed to promote economic growth in Wasco County. The City of Irrigon will receive $500,000 to upgrade its water system. The city's rapid growth has placed great strain on a water system designed for a much smaller town. Funds may be used to increase the size of the city's reservoir, purchase water rights or replace water lines. The City of Warrenton will receive $950,000 to construct a wastewater outfall line into the Columbia River. This project will bring the city into compliance with state and federal environmental mandates, reduce current impact on fisheries habitat and local tidelands, and protect threatened natural resource jobs. Umatilla County will receive $50,000 to support the creation of two soccer fields, a parking area, restroom facility, and a playground and picnic area to help bring the community together and revitalize this area. Oregon will also share in $24.5 million for the National Estuary Program. The National Estuary Program was established by Congress in 1987 to improve the quality of estuaries of national importance, including the Lower Columbia River Estuary and the Tillamook Bay Estuary. The final omnibus measure also includes funding for the following Oregon projects. • Portland's James Beard Public Market ($100,000) • City of Portland for central city streetscape and neighborhood integration planning ($90,000) • City of Salem for construction of a civic center ($200,000) • Union and Wallowa Counties for purchase of a railroad line for tourism development ($275,000) • Tillamook County for wastewater infrastructure improvements and a animal waste composting facility ($200,000) • City of Wilsonville, Villebois Rainwater Management System ($200,000) • Odell Sanitary District for wastewater infrastructure improvements ($250,000) • Albany-Millersburg Joint Water Project ($100,000)