Specter, Casey Announce Funding for Lehigh Valley Projects

Omnibus spending package contains funding for key local community initiatives

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey today announced that the U.S. Congress has approved federal funding for a number of projects in the Lehigh Valley.  The projects are part of the Fiscal Year 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act, a measure which contains funding for several federal agencies, as well as for local transportation, housing, health, education and law enforcement programs. 

“This funding will help improve our roadways, schools, hospitals, as well as prevent crime and develop our workforce and small businesses,” said Senator Specter.  “I am pleased to see this funding work to advance the important infrastructures that make our local communities run.”

“This money is great news for the Lehigh Valley and I am pleased Congress approved this funding,” said Senator Casey. “I will continue working with Senator Specter and the rest of the Pennsylvania delegation to create jobs and promote economic growth by supporting necessary transportation investments, quality health care, education and financial services initiatives, enhanced safety and law enforcement programs and a strong national defense.”

The Senate voted to pass the bill on Sunday 57-39, and the House of Representatives approved the measure on Thursday.  The Fiscal Year 2010 Consolidated Appropriations act will now be sent to the President to be signed into law.

Regional projects in the bill, listed by topic, include:

*If a Congressperson also supported a project, his/her name is listed

Transportation

•    $615,250 for Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority to purchase hybrid buses in Lehigh and Northampton Counties. (Specter; Dent)

•    $360,000 for Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority to analyze the feasibility of Bus Rapid Transit service in Lehigh and Northampton Counties. (Specter; Dent)

•    $250,000 for Berks Area Reading Transportation Authority to rehabilitate the Franklin Street Station in Berks County. (Specter; Gerlach)

Housing and Urban Development

•    $194,800 for Our City Reading in Berks County for rehabilitation of abandoned houses and provision of down payment assistance to home buyers. (Specter)

Military Construction

•    $15 million to construct an Armed Forces Reserve Center in Forks Township in Northampton County.  This site was selected by the Army following a site selection process and environmental assessment.  According to the Army, the new training building “will provide administrative, educational, assembly, library, learning center, sensitive equipment/weapons storage vault, weapons training simulator (no live fire), and physical fitness facilities”.  (President’s budget)

Health and Human Services

•    $450,000 for Sacred Heart Hospital in Lehigh County for equipment.  Funds will be used to purchase and upgrade operating room equipment. (Specter-Casey; Dent)

•    $100,000 for Children's Hospital of KidsPeace in Lehigh County for facilities and equipment.  Funds will be used to create four therapy rooms for individual, group and family therapy to address increased utilization of mental health services. (Specter-Casey)

•    $100,000 for DeSales University in Lehigh County for a medical education laboratory upgrades, including the purchase of equipment.  The nursing and physicians programs will share a simulation lab where they can learn on simulation patients before working with humans. (Specter-Casey)

•    $100,000 for Lehigh Valley Hospital in Lehigh County for equipment.  Funds will be used for automated medication dispensing machines to allow nurses to dispense medications safely and efficiently.  (Specter-Casey)

•    $100,000 for Saint Luke's Hospital and Health Network in Lehigh County for equipment.  Funds will be used for a CT Scanner in the Emergency Department.  (Specter)

•    $100,000 for Reading Hospital and Medical Center in Berks County for equipment.  Funds will be used for a Bi-plane angiography unit for aneurysms treatment. (Specter-Casey)

Education

•    $125,000 for Children’s Home of Easton in Northampton County for tutoring and mentoring at-risk youth during summer. (Casey-Specter)

•    $100,000 for Cedar Crest College in Lehigh County for science education programs including the purchase of equipment. (Specter)

•    $100,000 for Muhlenberg College in Lehigh County for a civic engagement and service learning program. (Specter-Casey; Dent)

Criminal Justice

•    $800,000 for the Allentown Police Department for the Lehigh and Northampton Counties Interoperability Development project. (Specter; Dent)

•    $500,000 for Lehigh County for technology infrastructure for the Lehigh Valley Regional Crime Center, which would be a cross-jurisdictional effort involving over 50 local law enforcement agencies in Lehigh and Northampton Counties, as well as benefit agencies in Berks County.  (Specter)

•    $300,000 for Northampton Community College in Northampton County for a campus-wide security system. (Specter; Kanjorski)

•    $200,000 for Valley Youth House Committee, Inc. in Lehigh County for the Adventure Challenge Education for Gang Prevention program.  (Specter; Dent)

Science

•    $250,000 for Lehigh University in Lehigh County for research and development of nanomaterials. This project consists of a partnership between Lehigh University, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and industry partners in Pennsylvania and Maryland to support the continued development of innovative nanomaterials and devices for NASA space flight applications.  (Specter-Casey; Dent)

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