August 31, 2003 – At least $8.03 million in V.I. appropriations in the major Fiscal Year 2004 funding bill now before Congress "have a strong likelihood to pass" by October, according to Delegate Donna M. Christensen.
"I am pleased to learn that several of the requests that we made last spring in conjunction with the governor's office are included in the major appropriations bill," she said in a release issued on Friday.
The following federal funding earmarked for the territory has been approved in both the U.S. House and Senate versions of the major appropriations bill:
– $5 million for the construction of two new wastewater treatment plants, one on St. Croix and one on St. Thomas. This money, which is in the U.S. Interior Department appropriations measure, "would cover a significant part of the court-ordered work on the territory's wastewater system," the release stated.
– $350,000 in additional funding in the U.S. Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development Department appropriations measure for the territory's wastewater treatment infrastructure improvement.
Additionally, the U.S. Agriculture Department appropriations measure directs the secretary of Agriculture to "give consideration" to providing another $4 million for V.I. wastewater collection and treatment facilities.
– $1.5 million in the U.S. Commerce, Justice and State appropriations measure for high-technology crime-fighting equipment for the Police Department.
– $750,000 in the U.S. Transportation Department appropriations measure for the purchase of VITRAN buses.
– $400,000 in the U.S. Energy and Water Development appropriations measure to complete pre-construction engineering and design work on the Crown Bay navigation project on St. Thomas.
– $30,000 in the same measure to continue coordination work on the Estate La Grange and Mon Bijou projects on St. Croix and the Savan Gut and Turpentine Run projects on St. Thomas. This funding would be "a precursor to a follow-up $12 million in federal grant assistance to the territory for those projects," the release stated.
According to Christensen, there is also funding for the territory in the U.S. Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriation measure — for an emergency medical services facility at Roy L. Schneider Hospital and for a Beacon Schools after-school community learning center project.
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