WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine recently announced over $200 million in federal funding for Virginia in the Senate-passed government funding bills for Fiscal Year 2023, including several projects in the New River Valley.
“This bill funds critical national priorities, including health care, education, scientific research and veterans’ services,” said Warner. “It builds on the important progress Congress has made this year to lower costs, fight gun violence, and create good-paying jobs here in the U.S. I’m especially proud that we secured $200 million in funding for key projects all over Virginia.”
“How we spend our money as a nation is a statement of our values and priorities,” said Kaine. “That’s why I worked to help create a budget that includes resources to keep Virginia communities safe, execute the pay raise Congress just authorized for our servicemembers, expand internet access, address communities’ health needs, and more. I’m also gratified that this legislation will bring $200 million to Virginia through a process we revived in 2021 to provide much-needed support for local projects. As I traveled Virginia this year, I saw up close how funds for local community projects are making a huge difference, from making our communities safer and closing disparities in access to health care and education, to improving roads and public transportation. I look forward to seeing the ways this budget helps Virginia build on that progress.”
As part of last year’s budget process, the Senate restarted a process that allows members of Congress to work with the communities they represent to request funding for local community projects, otherwise known as earmarks, in a manner that promotes transparency and accountability. This process allows Congress to dedicate federal funding for specific projects.
Projects in the New River Valley include:
$2,000,000 to aid Virginia Passenger Rail Authority in their plans to advance rail into the New River Valley by funding a study to decide where new platforms should be constructed in Montgomery County.
$1,000,000 for the New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Area’s growing sector partnerships to develop industry-certified middle skills for low-skilled jobseekers and workers in Bland, Carroll, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Montgomery, Pulaski, Smyth, Washington and Wythe Counties and the Cities of Bristol, Galax, and Radford. Specifically, the project focuses on skills within the skilled industrial, construction, and service trades.
$1,000,000 for Advanced Separation Technologies Research in Blacksburg. This project would fund research and development within the Office of Fossil Energy for technology to enhance the ability to extract rare earth minerals and harmful materials from coal. Researchers at Virginia Tech have developed a novel separation process to recover ultrafine coal and remove the water simultaneously. This funding will support Virginia Tech researchers in the process of developing second-generation technology that can be built and operated at low cost. If successful, the new technology may be used by many coal companies in the eastern U.S. to recover valuable natural resources while at the same time cleaning up the environment.
$500,000 for the Town of Pulaski in order to complete architectural and engineering design and conduct preservation construction activities for the Calfee Training School, to turn the historic African-American school into a childcare, community, and cultural memory center.
$300,000 to assist the Community Housing Partners Corporation in their efforts to construct energy efficient single-family affordable housing in Blacksburg.
News Journal staff report