WASHINGTON (Feb. 27, 2009)—Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-5th) announced that the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill approved by the House of Representatives Wednesday includes federal funds that will benefit Charles, Calvert and St. Marys Counties. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill next week before sending it to the President to be signed into law.
A summary of funding in the Omnibus bill for southern Maryland projects appears below (Source: Rep. Hoyer's office):
$380,000 for the Arc of Southern Maryland for renovation and expansion to create a multi-purpose community resources center in Prince Frederick, Md.
$380,000 for the Charles County Homeless Emergency Shelter and Transitional Housing Facility for the acquisition and rehabilitation of the former Changing Point South mental health facility in order to accommodate up to 100 homeless persons.
Calvert County Mobile Data Terminals - $500,000
The bill includes $500,000 in COPS Technology funding for the Calvert County Department of Public Safety for Mobile Data Terminals (MDT). The funding will be used to purchase mobile data terminals in support of local law enforcement and public safety in the county, including at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Facility.
College of Southern Maryland STEM Workforce Initiative- $486,000
Funding will help equip the Institute for Science Technology, Engineering and Math (ISTEM) that will prepare for the future workforce needs of the region and state. Funding will be utilized for equipment, supplies, and outreach activities for K-12 in Calvert, Charles and St. Marys counties. Of the graduating high school students matriculating to college more than 65% attend CSM in all three counties.
College 101: Preparing Women and Minorities for College and Careers in Technology - $143,000
The funding is for St. Marys College of Maryland to expand its College 101 program to bring more minority students into the college pipeline; increase minority participation in math and science programs and related programs. The program seeks to also increase the interest of middle school aged females in pursuing careers in math and science.
MD 4 and Suitland Parkway - $1,567,500
Funding will support the MD 4 and Suitland Parkway Interchange project. The Suitland Parkway Interchange project will expand a major corridor from Calvert County in Southern Maryland to Washington, D.C., ease traffic, and improve access to the military bases in Southern Maryland. Funds would be used to upgrade a very congested section of MD 4 to a multi-lane freeway and includes construction of a roundabout diamond interchange and associated ramps connecting MD 4 and Suitland Parkway.
Southern Maryland Commuter Bus Initiative - $950,000
Commuter bus service has grown rapidly in Calvert, Charles, and St. Marys counties over the past sixteen years and the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) Southern Maryland Commuter Bus program now operates more than 200 bus trips with a total of 7,200 riders each day. Unfortunately, increased ridership has resulted in a shortage of available parking spaces. This funding will support planning, design and construction of new or expanded commuter parking lots in Southern Maryland, as well as the acquisition of over-the-road coaches that help contractors meet MTA needs.
U.S. 301 Improvements - $712,500
Funds will help address the transportation needs along U.S. 301 in Prince Georges and Charles Counties. This highway is a major commuter thoroughfare from Southern Maryland to Washington, DC. Due to the economic growth in this region, U.S. 301 is often very congested and is in desperate need of upgrades.
MD 246, Great Mills Road, from MD 235 to Saratoga Drive - $712,500
Funds will support streetscape construction of MD 246, Great Mills Road, from MD 235 to Saratoga Drive in Lexington Park in St. Marys County. Funding will be used for resurfacing the roadway, replacing curb and gutter, providing continuous 5' wide sidewalks, building a center raised median from FDR Blvd. to Coral Drive, undertaking drainage improvements, consolidating/relocating utility poles, and providing landscaping and pedestrian lighting. All pedestrian facilities will be upgraded to comply with ADA standards.
University Of Maryland Tobacco Alternative Study - $280,000
The Alternative Uses for Tobacco Study Program at the University of Maryland is working to develop new non-smoking uses for tobacco, and explores the many valuable uses of the plant. Successful development of this project could help maintain an agricultural base in Southern Maryland, and serve as a model for other tobacco-producing areas.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) -Alliance for Coastal Technologies - $1 Million
The Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT) is a partnership of 8 research institutions across the country, including the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Chesapeake Bay Laboratory in Solomons, that works with NOAA to develop integrated marine observing systems and forecast systems that benefit environmental managers and all coastal users.
Charles County Closed Loop Effluent Reuse System - $750,000
This funding will enable the construction of a treated effluent reuse pipeline from the Charles County Government Mattawoman Wastewater Treatment Plant to White Plains, Maryland, the major distribution hub of the treated effluent reuse system. This pipeline will eliminate as much as 13 million gallons per day of treated effluent from being discharged into the Potomac River reducing pollutant loadings (118,716 pounds per year of nitrogen; 11,869 pounds per year of phosphorous) into the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. The treated effluent will be utilized for various electric power generating facilities for their wet flue gas desulfurization systems and for cooling purposes to condense steam. The utilization of treated effluent will eliminate the necessity of utilizing potable groundwater, a finite natural resource. The Maryland Geological Survey has conducted a Southern Maryland Patapsco Aquifer Study and concluded that certain areas of Charles County may experience water supply shortages beyond 2030.
Morgan State University Oyster Hatchery Economic Pilot Program - $500,000
This vital program is a key part of the Centers efforts to help prevent an economic collapse of Maryland communities that have historically been dependent on oysters and restore the once plentiful oyster population in the Bay. Undertaken by the Morgan State University Estuarine Research Center, this program seeks to find market-based solutions to replenish the population of oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. By developing a means to produce a revenue source on a more predictable schedule, this project will help stabilize a declining industry and provide the means to stabilize the social and cultural foundation of many waterfront communities, not to mention significantly improve the overall health of the Bay.
Save Americas Treasures Jefferson Patterson House - $150,000
Funding will be utilized for rehabilitation of the Patterson House and associated facilities (Patterson Center) located on the grounds of the state-owned and operated Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in Calvert County, Maryland. The Patterson Center is a complex of 6 buildings totaling 14,647 square feet, a large pool, and manicured lawns and gardens that dates to the 1930s and retains a high level of integrity as a master work of an important female American architect, Gertrude Sawyer.
Per the terms of the Trust Agreement with the donor, the state is responsible to maintain and operate the Patterson House as a museum facility. While the State took responsibility for the property in 2003, no additional funds were allocated to maintain or operate the facility. The Center is currently functionally inadequate due to inaccessibility, a leaking roof and basement, buildings that do not meet current codes and a deficient HVAC system. Matched by the state, these funds would be utilized to complete Phase I of capital improvements on the interior and exterior of the Patterson House and make this site accessible to the public and make it easier to maintain.