MIL-OSI USA: Rep. Vargas Secures Nearly $34 Million in Community Project Funds in Appropriations Committee Bill

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51)

Jun 28, 2022

Press Release

Rep. Vargas Secures Nearly $34 Million in Community Project Funds in Appropriations Committee Bill

All 15 of Rep. Vargas’ Community Project Funding requests were included and could deliver $33.8 million to California’s 51st Congressional District

WASHINGTON, D.C (June 27, 2022) — Today, Congressmember Vargas announced the inclusion of 15 Community Project Funding requests in the Appropriations Committee Bill, totaling nearly $34 million. The inclusion of these requests is the first step in the funding process through the House Appropriations Committee.

“It’s an honor to fight for our community in Congress and tackle the first step to deliver $33.8 million to our district,” said Rep. Vargas. “These funds could have an incredible impact on my constituents and address important issues in our community including updating our transportation systems, creating additional resources for undocumented students, and advancing health equity and access to quality health care. I’ll continue fighting in Congress to ensure our community receives the funding we need to thrive.”

Congressmember Vargas has secured $33.8 million in Community Project Funds that could directly benefit California’s 51st Congressional District:

  • $4,500,000 for Bayshore Bikeway Barrio Logan and Zero Emissions Bus Division Project – Planning Phase
    • $3,500,000 in funds will go toward the Barrio Logan Segment of the Bayshore Bikeway, a 2.4-mile, Class 1, shared-use path that will serve people walking, biking and using other non-motorized modes. Currently 85% of the entire bikeway is complete. This project will close a major gap in the Bayshore Bikeway with a connection to downtown San Diego, the Bayfront promenade, convention center with direct access to Naval Base San Diego and many working waterfront employment centers, businesses, and activity centers.
    • $1,000,000 will go toward the planning phase of the project. As a regional priority project, the New Zero Emission Bus Division will provide critical additional space to achieve regional climate and mobility goals as well as zero emission bus expansion.
  • $3,452,972 for Smugglers Gulch Dredging
    • Significant amounts of sewage, trash, and sediment have entered the Tijuana River Valley (TRV) in the U.S. While the City of San Diego and County of San Diego have regularly dredged these areas, there is a need for a more extensive and coordinated effort to collect the decade’s worth of sediment and trash that has accumulated. Completing this dredging prior to implementation of the SCC-funded Smuggler’s Gulch Improvements will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of those solutions. The funding will serve all residents and visitors of the TRV and will also benefit nearby residents in Imperial Beach.
  • $10,000,000 for San Ysidro Community Activity Center Enhancements, Beach and Boat Launch at Harbor Park, and Beyer Park Phase II Construction
    • $4,000,000 will go toward construction improvements for the San Ysidro Community Activity Center. The project proposes implementation of the General Development Plan on an existing 0.35 acre facility to include a children’s play area, tetherball, foursquare, hopscotch, handball courts, & bike rack, and landscaping. Additional updates will include ADA accessible parking spaces fronting the existing sidewalk, installation of additional of security lighting in parking medians, replace an existing curb ramp to serve relocated accessible parking spaces, and more.
    • The Port of San Diego’s Board of Port Commissioners have approved a Coastal Development Permit for Harbor Park that allows the completion of the design, the bidding and awarding of construction contracts, and the start of construction. $3,000,000 will go toward an expansion of the existing 12-acre Bayside Park, including An enlarged and improved beach that will allow visitors especially those from surrounding disadvantaged communities to have easy access to the bay; a pocket marsh and salt marsh planting; a pedestrian boat launch for kayaks, paddleboards, and other personal watercraft; meadows studded with picnic tables; terraced headlands surrounding the beach that offer seating and sunset views; and park lighting, furnishings, and signage.
    • This project provides for the design and construction of approximately eight useable acres, out of approximately 43 total acres of a community and neighborhood park on Beyer Boulevard. The project is split into two phases, and $3,000,000 in funding will be put toward Phase II, which includes a pedestrian walkway, dog park, comfort station, parking lot, exercise stations, and athletic fields.
  • $2,325,360 for Summer Math Academies for Student and Teacher Success and San Diego Community College District Dreamer Resource Centers
    • SDCCD proposes to establish a districtwide Dreamer Support Program to coordinate community outreach and engagement activities, promote targeted support for students, and track academic success outcomes for undocumented students. $1,200,000 in funds will be used to scale existing services available on the college campuses, further develop the Dreamer Resource Centers at City and Mesa Colleges, establish a Dreamer Resource Center at Miramar College, and provide cultural competency training to ensure that the campuses at-large are knowledgeable and equip to serve undocumented students, their families, and community members.
    • $1,125,360 will go toward Summer Math Academies (SMA) for Students and Teachers as a way to deepen grades 6-12 Black, Latinx, low-income, and military-connected students’ mathematical knowledge in San Diego’s lowest income serving communities (e.g., Barrio Logan, Chula Vista), and to elevate mathematical teaching and learning in San Diego County. This would allow for a significant SMA scale up, with an additional 32 teachers and nearly 400 students in up to 16 locations throughout San Diego County, including Barrio Logan, Chula Vista Elementary School District and Sweetwater Union High School District.
  • $1,500,000 for Light Up San Diego Streetlight Improvement Program – Logan Heights
    • Funding will go toward replacing old infrastructure to improve the reliability of streetlights, lower the City’s maintenance effort, and lead to savings associated with outages where series circuits currently exist. Approximately 30 streetlights throughout Logan Heights would realize these benefits upon conversion.
  • $500,000 for Targeted Foster Family Recruitment
    • This funding would support the active recruitment of Resource homes for LGBTQ youth, larger sibling groups, medically fragile youth, and children of color. The funding would provide strategies for engagement, ongoing support, and training for Resource parents to provide a safe and loving environment for foster youth.
  • $1,095,000 for UC San Diego Health CommUnity Mobile Unit [UCSDH CommUnity MU]
    • UC San Diego Health (UCSDH) and UCSD Center for Community Health propose use of a CommUnity Mobile Unit (MU) to increase healthcare access, improve preventative healthcare services delivery, and build capacity for local community-based organizations serving San Diego residents in California’s 51st District. CA-51 has one of the lowest life expectancy ranges, indicating extreme health disparities and significant health risks. Funds will go toward helping advance health equity and addressing these disparities to implement a scalable healthcare mobile unit that adds capacity to existing local community-based organizations.
  • $4,500,000 for Wildfire Fuel Management and Control Strategy and San Diego County Twin-Engine Firefighting Helicopter Project
    • $3,750,000 will be used to purchase a twin-engine firefighting helicopter to replace older single-engine helicopters built out of a 1970s airframe. This is a coordinated request with the entire San Diego County delegation (Reps. Peters, Levin, Issa, Jacobs, and Vargas), with the offices collectively seeking a total of $3.75 million for this project.
    • San Diego County has experienced several catastrophic wildfires over the past two decades. County Fire established the Community Risk Reduction Division to better safeguard homes and communities through a cohesive pre-fire strategy, focusing on public education, defensible space inspections, structure hardening and fuels management. $750,000 in funds would initially be spent to conduct environmental analysis of the area to be treated. If funded, fuels projects would consist of identification of at-risk communities within rural areas of the County.
  • $4,000,000 for Brandt Road Bridge Replacement Project
    • The Brandt Road Bridge is a main collector route which, at present, is primarily used by the agricultural industry to cross the Alamo River. Funds will go toward a proposed new single span bridge to be built to current standards and improve the operational safety of the road and bridge crossing.
  • $2,000,000 for UC Riverside Critical Mineral Analytical Training Center
    • The University of California Riverside (UCR) would use this funding to purchase equipment for a critical minerals analytical facility to meet the needs of the emerging lithium (Li) industry in the Salton Sea region of the Imperial Valley. The facility will train generations of students for the lithium-based workforce in the region and, in addition, provide data essential to the initial development and day-to-day operations of Li extraction. The lab provides an essential opportunity for training a workforce for the Li industry and, more generally, preparing students from the region for a wide range of high-end lab jobs. The facility also provides a bridge for students from regional community colleges who may seek to obtain four-year degrees.

Congressmember Vargas will continue to fight for this funding as it moves to the full Appropriations Committee, consideration on the House floor, and negotiations with the Senate. Additional details regarding all of Congressmember Vargas’ Community Project Funding requests can be found here.

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