|Photo by John Arundel/Local Kicks |
"Our economy is in the midst of one of the most severe declines since the Great
Depression," Rep. Jim Moran said in announcing $53 million in local earmarks.
Facing calls by Republicans to donate to charity campaign contributions from a Political Action Committee facing an FBI probe, Rep. Jim Moran (D-8) reminded voters this week why they re-elected him last fall to a ninth term.
When Congress finally passed its massive Omnibus spending bill Wednesday afternoon by a 245-178 vote, Alexandria's former mayor brought home the bacon for the city he once led -- more than $53 million of it for Alexandria and regional projects.
A senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Moran made sure there was a little bit in almost everyone's stocking from the $787 billion Economic Stimulus Package, from constructon workers to police officers to historical preservation activists. There was $15.8 million in conservation and environmental improvement grants, $6.2 million for education, law enforcement and social services, and $1.2 million for historic preservation and memorials.
The largest pieces of the post-Holiday pie was $29 million in Federal funds for extending Metro to Tyson's Corner, nearly $4 million for improving Chesapeake Bay water quality and $1.9 million for Fairfax County Interchange.
In Alexandria, one of the biggest wins for historic preservationists came in the form of a $640,000 grant to restore the Jones Point Lighthouse in the shadow of the $3 billion Woodrow Wilson Bridge project. Moran also saw to it that $2 million was earmarked locally for improving water quality, $1 million for the development of bus-rapid transit at Potomac Yards, $750,000 to provide the city's wastewater treatment plant with bio-solids training and management, and $500,000 for an EPA Water and Wastewater grant for the city to transform an urbanized cement stream at Four Mile Run back into a natural stream.
Moran also channeled $250,000 to the City of Alexandria's Gang Prevention Services to focus on at-risk youth, $238,000 for INOVA Alexandria Hospitals Emergency Dept. to upgrade and expand its ER, and $200,000 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin flood control studies in the Belle View and New Alexandria area.
“Our economy is in the midst of one of the most severe declines since the Great Depression,” Moran said in announcing the local earmarks.
“Passage of this Omnibus Appropriations bill which completes last Congress’ unfinished business will have a similar stimulative effect to the Economic Recovery Package recently signed into law," he added. "I was able to include a number of projects totaling over $53 million to assist Northern Virginia and the Metro area during this time of uncertainty. These projects are designed to help transform our region’s transportation and environmental infrastructure and assist nonprofits’ charitable work.”
A full listing provided by Moran's congressional office of local appropriations included:
•$29,100,000 for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project extending Metro through Tysons Corner to Washington Dulles International Airport.
•$1,900,000 for the Commonwealth of Virginia to improve capacity of the I-95/Fairfax County Parkway Interchange.
•$1,000,000 shared equally between the City of Alexandria and Arlington County to support the development of the Potomac Yards – Crystal City Transit Way to provide bus-rapid transit service along the Route 1 corridor.
•$810,000 for the Georgetown Metro Connection bus service which provides transit service between the Rosslyn community of Arlington, VA and the Washington, DC neighborhoods of Georgetown, DuPont Circle and Foggy Bottom.
•$1,187,000 to construct a pedestrian and bike bridge connecting the Filene Center and Barns at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts and begin construction of a trail to link to the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail and the Intercounty Trail.
•$475,000 for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to enhance safety of the transit system including use of cameras on buses, video analysis equipment, an automated bus performance monitoring system, pedestrian warning systems, enhanced stop lights and safety upgrades at bus facilities.
Conservation & Environmental Improvement ($15,858,500)
•$3,998,000 for the Chesapeake Bay Habitat Conservation Program which will help improve Chesapeake Bay water quality by implementing best management practices that will increase water quality, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities and flood protection in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. These funds will allow Ducks Unlimited to partner with state and federal agencies to restore, enhance and protect over 4,000 acres of wetland and riparian habitats in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
•$1,000,000 to support the National Park Service’s Chesapeake Bay Gateways program.
•$2,000,000 for the Chesapeake Bay Oyster restoration program.
•$2,365,000 to implement water resource management projects through the Mid-Atlantic River Basin Commissions, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, the Delaware River Basin Commission and the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin.
•$200,000 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin a study of the Belle View and New Alexandria Flood Control Remediation project. Nicknamed “the Brussels of Alexandria” the Belle View and New Alexandria communities average no more than 2.9 feet above sea level. Built before flood maps and county ordinances were established, the 2,200 residential homes, townhouses and apartments are prone to frequent flooding. This effort follows up on the initial Corps reconnaissance study, funded entirely by Fairfax County.
•$191,000 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete the initial phase of the Mid-Potomac River Watershed - Cameron/Holmes Run water resources study and begin the investigative phase on the feasibility of flood mitigation measures. The watershed faces many water related issues including degraded fish and wildlife habitat, increased sedimentation, poor water quality and flooding. In June 2006, the Huntington community sustained more than $10 million in economic and property losses during a 100-year flood event. The Corps was extremely helpful in determining the cause of the flooding and identifying a set of short term solutions that will be implemented by the two local jurisdictions. A more permanent solution, however, will require more extensive study. The Corps’ expertise on flooding and environmental restoration will provide a forum to build consensus and ensure an appropriate and environmentally sensitive solution is achieved.
•$500,000 for an EPA Water and Wastewater grant for the City of Alexandria and Arlington County to complete the first phase of a master plan to transform a segment of Four Mile Run, an urbanized cement stream channel, back into a natural stream and better utilize the open space adjacent to the stream.
•$500,000 for the City of Falls Church to implement two projects: 1) Stream restoration for Tripps Run and Four Mile Run watersheds that will reduce storm water runoff and improve water quality and, 2) Prevent storm water infiltration into sanitary sewer lines caused by sump pumps and roof and stairwell drains.
•$333,000 for Audubon Society of Northern Virginia’s Audubon at Home program which engages Americans in conserving resources in their own backyards and communities.
•$239,000 to complete the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering General Investigation study on the Four Mile Run environmental restoration project. Completion of the study will enable Arlington and Alexandria to move forward with plans to restore this historic natural infrastructure, creating habitat for bird species, restoring natural stream channels, and removing stream blockages.
•$191,000 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete its initial investigation and survey of the middle Potomac River Watershed which will assist Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania on their comprehensive Potomac River tributaries strategy. The middle Potomac encompasses Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, central Maryland and Pennsylvania, and eastern portions of West Virginia. It is particularly susceptible to water resource problems due to increasing population and development. This portion of the Potomac River basin faces many water related issues including degraded fish and wildlife habitat, streams impacted by increased sedimentation, poor water quality, and flooding.
•$91,500 for the Northern Virginia Community College to purchase laboratory equipment to support alternative energy technology courses.
•$250,000 to study safety improvements and expanded recreational opportunities at Roosevelt Island National Memorial Park in Arlington, VA. The funding would be used to mitigate frequent conflicts between pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles that converge at the park’s parking lot. Potential solutions include construction of a ranger station and public rest room facility, reconfiguration of the parking lot and separation of bike trail and foot path. There is also interest in construction of a floating platform to launch rowing shells and other non-motorized boats.
•$750,000 for a national program operated locally in Alexandria through the National Bio-Solid Partnership to provide wastewater treatment plants with training, technical assistance and information to help them implement best practices for bio-solids management.
•$2,000,000 for a national program operated locally in Alexandria through the Water Environment Research Foundation to continue to conduct research that produces cost effective, innovative and scientifically sound methods that help local utilities and water companies meet their water quality responsibilities.
•$1,500,000 for the Fish and Wildlife Service to acquire title and secure easements to 860 acres as part of the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
Education, Law Enforcement & Social Services ($6,283,771)
•$2,850,000 for the Children’s National Medical Center’s pediatric surgical care renovations. Children’s facility master plan calls for eleven new and renovated operating rooms and an additional GI procedure room. None of the Children’s current operating rooms meet the requirements for complex care, and only four meet the standards for general surgical care.
•$196,514 for construction of a new facility for the Capital Area Food Bank. The Food Bank’s limited capacity for additional collection, handling, and storage of food has forced it to turn away over 2 million pounds of food annually over the past eight years. Lack of space has also prevented expansion of its education and nutrition programs.
•$190,000 for the Falls Church Affordable Housing Partnership to construct affordable housing rental units.
•$190,000 to the Whitman-Walker Clinic of Northern Virginia to serve uninsured and low income clients in Northern Virginia. Many of the clients are from at-risk populations that have limited access to culturally-sensitive substance abuse treatment, particularly related to crystal meth addiction. The funds will expand these services to include dental and substance abuse treatments.
•$500,000 for the Homestretch Taking Charge program based in Falls Church which serves homeless families, particularly woman and children who have become homeless due to domestic violence, human trafficking, and/or other violence. This grant would allow for the expansion of services by adding five new properties to house families, and begin an after-school program for at-risk students.
•$250,000 for Arlington County’s Gang Task Force to support intervention, prevention and education services to at-risk youth. These services include scholarships for camps and after school programs, employment opportunities with strong mentors, and increased supervision of youth offenders in accordance with their probation requirements.
•$250,000 to the City of Alexandria’s Gang Prevention Services to support initiatives focused on at-risk youth and their participation in gangs in the City.
•$98,257 for Washington D.C.’s Perry School and its Economic Empowerment Program which helps the homeless, ex-offenders, high school dropouts, and others that are difficult to employ obtain and retain gainful employment. The program includes a pre-GED and GED curriculum, job readiness and placement training, resume review, assistance with proper business attire, tax assistance and money management training.
•$100,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington for Project Learn an educational enhancement program for at-risk youth.
•$200,000 to fund the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline, the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, and nationwide education and outreach programs through the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
•$150,000 for the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation (VCPI) for statewide law enforcement training programs focusing on community policing in Hispanic communities, digital evidence collection procedures, dog fighting investigations, and court security management.
•$500,000 for the Enough is Enough non-profit’s Internet Safety 101: Empowering Parents program. The program is designed to help parents prevent their children from becoming victims of online predators. The Internet Safety program conducts internet safety seminars, radio and print public service announcements alerting parents and kids to the danger of online predators, an Internet Safety 101 DVD teaching video, and a comprehensive list of victim resources.
•$262,000 for Signature Theatre’s "Signature in the Schools,” program which uses the Dramatic Arts to further student achievement. These after-school workshops and apprenticeships with Signature’s professional artists create a safe place where students can be productive during the “danger-zone” hours. More than one-third of students who participate in Signature in the Schools are experiencing live theater for the first time when they participate in the program.
•$238,000 for INOVA Alexandria Hospital’s Emergency Department to upgrade and expand the ER by adding a Clinical Decision Unit (CDU) which will provide observation space for patients who do not warrant immediate inpatient hospital admission, but are not well enough to return to home and may need additional monitoring, diagnostic evaluation and/or treatment.
•$143,000 for Arlington’s Borromeo Housing to expand Elizabeth House, a residential care, parenting and life skills development program for homeless, adolescent mothers aged 16-21 and their infants. This is a three year program that focuses on job readiness, education, financial management, mental health, child development and self sufficiency training. The program is expanding from four families (8 people) to eight families (16 people). The funds will help pay off the home loan and help with direct service expenses.
Historic Preservation & Memorials ($1,240,000)
•$640,000 to undertake the exterior restoration of the Jones Point Lighthouse. The restoration was developed as part of the Historic Structures Report as required under the Memorandum of Agreement under Section 106 of the Woodrow Wilson Project.
•$100,000 for Fairfax County to restore the 19th Century Huntley Estate.
•$500,000 to relocate utility lines for the construction of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.