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Friday, December 8, 2023
Dec. 8, 2023

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Southwest Washington public safety, infrastructure projects marked for funds in 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

By , Columbian staff writer

More than a dozen Southwest Washington initiatives will soon see federal funding designed to improve infrastructure and public safety following the passage of the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.

The region will receive $15 million in project investments as a part of the federal legislation, which now awaits President Joe Biden’s signature. It’s a small — albeit locally substantial — takeaway from the bill’s $1.7 trillion in spending, which the Senate recently passed by a 68-29 vote and the House by 225-201.

Here’s a breakdown of Clark County’s nearly $4 million bundle of federal funds:

  •  The second phase of Battle Ground’s Grace Avenue realignment project will receive $2 million, continuing efforts to improve vehicle and freight access at the Southeast and Northeast Grace Avenue intersections with Main Street.
  • About $131,000 will be invested in the city of Washougal’s body worn camera pilot program, and $1 million will be used to construct an anoxic selector for Washougal’s wastewater treatment plant.
  • Family Solutions in Vancouver will gain $816,000 to purchase additional facility space to expand its behavioral health services.

Other notable investments

Cowlitz County will receive $2.17 million to replace its radio systems and increase wavelength reach, improving communication for responders and residents. In Longview, the city will use an additional $1.5 million to install a new master pump water station to replace five existing boosters. The police will get $215,000 to purchase a de-escalation training simulator.

The Army Corps of Engineers will complete its feasibility study surrounding needed improvements to the Longview Turning Basin on the Columbia River with $900,000 in grants. Upgrades to the basin would enlarge it to withstand vessel and freight movement through the river.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will gain $856,000 to conduct surveys at Mount St. Helens to track sentiment activity in the Cowlitz and Toutle rivers, as well as perform subsequent analyses.

Pacific, Wahkiakum and Skamania counties will receive an assortment of funding to address their respective utility infrastructure, including sewer lift stations and water treatment plants. Skamania County will also receive $100,000 to finish the Bonneville Tribal Housing Special Study, which identifies displacement and housing needs along the Bonneville Dam reservoir.

A full list of regional projects expected to receive federal funding through the omnibus package can be viewed on Sen. Maria Cantwell’s website. She was one of 68 senators who voted in support of the bill.

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