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Bush's OK would release $126M for region

Tony LaRussa
| Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007

More than $100 million has been earmarked for local projects in an appropriations bill that has been passed by Congress and could be signed by President Bush this week.

The Senate voted Tuesday night to provide $70 billion for U.S. military efforts in Iran and Afghanistan, paving the way for the passage of a $555 billion omnibus appropriations bill combing war funding with the budgets for 14 Cabinet agencies.

The House passed a similar spending package Monday.

Under an unusual legislative two-step, the Iraq portion of the bill will be returned to the House today. Bush was ready to sign the bill, assuming the war funding clears the House.

U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Swissvale, said he is pleased that a number of important projects in Allegheny County will be funded. He said the funding is "the result of a collaborative effort with the congressional district's community leaders and elected officials."

Following are some of the projects that will be funded if the bill is signed into law:

• $69.18 million to repair locks and dams along the lower Monongahela River;

• $42.3 million for emergency repairs and rehabilitation of the Emsworth Dam;

• $2.46 million to study the condition of the upper Ohio River, Emsworth, Dashields and Montgomery locks and dams;

• $1.2 million for the East Carson Street widening project;

• $998,000 for planning and engineering of a rapid transit system, linking Pittsburgh International Airport with Downtown, Oakland and the Mon Valley;

• $828,000 for the planning and design of the first phase of the visiting quarters at the Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station in Coraopolis;

• $800,000 for the 3 Rivers Wet Weather Demonstration Program to fix municipal sewers, protect the region's streams and augment the investment of local governments in compliance with the Clean Water Act; and $468,384 for the removal of stream discharges from municipal combined sewers;

• $500,000 for the Regional Joint Readiness Center in Pittsburgh. Funds are for planning and development of a center to organize regional responses to terrorist attacks and natural disasters;

• $376,000 for Duquesne University's cyber-security preparedness for small- and medium-sized businesses;

• $376,000 for East End Cooperative Ministry for at-risk youth programs, which aim to prevent crime and juvenile delinquency;

• $307,413 for a construction project at Reformed Presbyterians Woman's Home;

• $307,413 for construction and equipment at Children's Home of Pittsburgh.

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