Senator Works to Help Struggling Families, Improve Infrastructure & Protect Taxpayers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 17, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Kit Bond today announced that he secured more than $30 million to invest in Missouri’s transportation infrastructure and housing needs.
“Future economic growth is dependent on the investments we make today in our communities, from transportation infrastructure to housing and this bill is an important step,” said Bond. “Missouri’s local and community leaders asked me to ensure our state isn’t left out of the mix. I’m proud that with these critical projects I’m sending some of your tax dollars back home to work for Missourians.”
As the ranking member of the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Bond secured $30.5 million in federal funds in the subcommittee’s fiscal year 2010 spending bill that cleared the Senate today. The Senate must now reconcile the bill with the version passed by the House of Representatives before the President signs it into law. Bond emphasized that this year’s spending bill addresses nationwide challenges like our crumbling infrastructure and the continuing housing crisis that has put taxpayers at risk, made worse the shortage of affordable housing and forced many families out of their homes.
Improving Transportation Infrastructure:
Bond believes that good roads and bridges are critical to attracting and sustaining business, job creation, and economic growth in our communities. In the Senate-passed bill, Bond worked to increase investment in our nation’s transportation infrastructure, including our highways, airports, bus and rail projects across the country.
Helping Struggling Families:
Out of concern for many families overwhelmed by the ongoing housing and economic crisis, Bond worked to increase funding for critical programs to help the nation’s most vulnerable, like the Early Childhood Development capital funding and the Community Development Block Grant program. The Senate-passed bill also invests in federal programs that will address homelessness and the shortage of safe, affordable housing, such as Section 8, HOME Investment Partnerships Programs, HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing, Housing for Seniors, Housing for Persons with Disabilities, the Lead Hazard Reduction Program. In addition, Bond championed the increased investment in housing counseling money – a program Senators Bond and Dodd created before most folks were aware of the housing crisis – to help keep families struggling with the subprime mortgage crisis stay in their homes.
Over the past several months, Bond has repeatedly warned his colleagues and the Administration that the Federal Housing Administration is plagued with problems. As a result of long-standing management problems, resource challenges, and substantial growth in risky lending due to political pressures, the FHA’s solvency is at risk, potentially putting taxpayers on the hook for another massive bailout. To address these problems, Bond worked to include $20 million for FHA anti-fraud activities and $6 million in additional funding for the HUD Inspector General to conduct oversight. Bond also worked to provide funding to modernize FHA information technology systems to track better mortgage and associated obligations. In addition to protecting taxpayers from a possible FHA powder keg, these programs will combat families from predatory lending and mortgage fraud.
In addition to these nationwide initiatives, Bond secured $30.5 million in funds for the following Missouri transportation, housing and urban development related projects:
Rebuilding our Transportation Infrastructure
Good roads, bridges, and waterways are critical to attracting and sustaining business, job creation, and economic growth in our communities. Bond continues to stress that funds for transportation infrastructure projects that will create jobs now and make a long-term investment in our communities are a key component in our economic recovery. In today’s bill Bond worked to send millions in Missouri tax dollars back home to rebuild and repair our crumbling transportation infrastructure.
· $2.75 million for the Lamar Municipal Airport in Lamar. The funds will go to the Missouri Department of Transportation for the construction of a new runaway. This project will provide safety improvements to a publicly funded facility.
· $2 million for Statewide Bus and Bus Facilities. The funds will go to the Missouri Department of Transportation for the replacement of buses and the construction of bus facilities throughout Missouri. This project will replace older, inefficient buses to improve operating efficiency by decreasing repair and operating costs and deploying new, more reliable and fuel efficient buses.
· $2 million for KCATA Bus Replacement in Kansas City. The funds will go to the Kansas City Area Transit Authority to replace older buses to enhance operating efficiency and reduce overall maintenance and operating costs by deploying new, more reliable and fuel-efficient vehicles.
· $2 million for aviation safety research at St. Louis University in St. Louis. The funds will go to St. Louis University to provide for job task analysis, curriculum development, and the knowledge and skills training that will improve aviation safety and develop an aviation maintenance workforce for the future.
· $2 million for the Poplar Bluff Bypass in Poplar Bluff. The funds will go to the Missouri Department of Transportation for the construction of County Road 302. The new bypass will improve safety and increase traffic efficiency by diverting large freight carriers away from downtown. This will help maintain and attract businesses and jobs by providing easier access to the industrial park.
· $1.7 million to Sikeston Memorial Municipal Airport in Sikeston. The funds will go to the Missouri Department of Transportation for the relocation of a taxiway. This project will provide improvements that will allow pilots to safely navigate taxiways at a publicly funded facility.
· $1.6 million for the Cape Girardeau Riverwalk Trail in Cape Girardeau. The funds will go to the City of Cape Girardeau for the completion of the Riverwalk Trail extension. The project connects the trail
into a larger city-wide trail system, which addresses safety concerns and promotes alternative modes of transportation and tourism.
· $1.15 million for the Metro St. Louis Downtown Transfer Center in St. Louis. The funds will go to the Bi-State Development Agency for the construction of a new downtown Metro Bus transfer center. The center will provide an efficient transfer point between bus and light rail for customers accessing jobs, hotels and the convention center. This will support alternate modes of transportation and reduce congestion of the roadways.
· $1.15 million for Route 34 in Bollinger County. The funds will go to the Missouri Department of Transportation to provide for the realignment and construction of the roadway and bridges on Route 34. Currently, Route 34 is a safety concern as it is a main access point to school for the Woodland School District.
· $1 million for transit vehicles and related equipment in Boone County. The funds will go to the City of Columbia to replace old transit vehicles to reduce operational costs such as maintenance and fuel expenses. The project will better serve the riding public by allowing the transit service to focus on meeting other
s needs such as the preservation of current bus services.
· $1 million for the Brush Creek-Troost Avenue Street Improvements in Kansas City. The funds will go to Kansas City Parks and Recreation to provide for flood control and bridge improvements, replacement parts and enhancements. The project will address safety concerns by replacing a bridge and mitigate future flooding consequently reducing the potential for the loss of life and property damage.
· $1 million for the Interstate-44 and Range Line Road Interchange in Joplin. The funds will go to the Missouri Department of Transportation for the reconstruction of a functionally obsolete interchange. The project will deal with safety and congestion concerns by constructing a new interchange and eliminating sub-standard ramps and two deficient bridges.
· $1 million for Interstate-55 Interchange in Scott County. The funds will go to the Missouri Department of Transportation for the construction of a new interchange and the connective roads. This project will increase safety and reduce traffic congestion in the area.
· $1 million for the Lafayette Interchange in Jefferson City. The funds will go to the Missouri Department of Transportation to provide for the construction of the Lafayette Interchange. This project will provide new access to the downtown area and new courthouse and relieve congestion on current access points.
· $1 million for the MO-13 and MO-82 Interchange in Osceola. The funds will go to the Missouri Department of Transportation for the construction of a grade-separated interchange. The project eliminates the safety concerns of the at-grade interchange.
· $1 million for the Route 160 and Route 60 Interchange Improvements in Greene County. The funds will go to the Missouri Department of Transportation to widen Route 160 and add lanes to interchange ramps at Route 60 to improve traffic flow and decrease congestion on two major traffic corridors.
· $1 million for US-63 in Osage and Maries County. The funds will go to the Missouri Department of Transportation for the engineering and design of highway realignment and widening. The project will address safety concerns and alleviate congestion in this major corridor.
· $900,000 for the Missouri River Freight Corridor Development Study. The funds will go to the Missouri Department of Transportation to study how to increase freight tonnage moved on the Missouri River and to provide for long-term development opportunities along the Missouri River corridor. This project will explore options on how better to utilize Missouri waterways to relieve some of the stress and congestion that the current high volume freight movement places on infrastructure.
Investing in our Families’ Future
Senator Bond has long stressed that strong families make a strong society. He has been an advocate for policies critical to helping families thrive, from quality childcare to safe and affordable housing. In today’s bill, Bond secured funds that will strengthen our families and invest in their futures.
· $2.25 million for the Wellston Developmental Child Care Center in St. Louis. The funds will go to the St. Louis Economic Council for the final design and construction of the Wellston Child Care Center. The center will provide low and moderate income families with child care services. The center will meet the growing need for affordable quality child care education in the area.
· $2 million for the Northeast Community Center in Kansas City. The funds will go to the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department to provide space for recreation, fitness, and community outreach programs. This new community center will provide economic development, improve citizen’s health and fitness, and provide youth programs in a distressed community.
· $1 million for the Ville Affordable Housing Preservation in St. Louis. The funds will go to Northside Community Housing for renovations that will preserve affordable housing units for low and moderate income seniors, individuals, and families. This project will help keep rents low for tenants and improve the neighborhood while working to fight homelessness.