Delaware to Receive $13 Million in Transportation, Housing Funds

WASHINGTON (Nov. 22, 2005) – Delaware’s congressional delegation – Sens. Joe Biden and Tom Carper and Congressman Mike Castle – today announced that Delaware would receive nearly $13 million in specific projects under the recently passed HUD-Transportation fiscal 2006 appropriations bill. “I am pleased that in tight budgetary times, we were able to secure important funds for essential projects in our community like the House of Joseph II, the Wilmington Senior Center and Easter Seals. These organizations provide vital services to those in need,” said Senator Biden. “From improving I-95 to continuing our work on the Newark commuter rail line, this legislation will help curb congestion and allow commuters to get to work faster and safer,” said Carper. “I’m also pleased we were able to secure funds to invest in our communities, including housing for AIDS victims, improving our state’s nursing facilities and expanding educational opportunities for low-income kids.” “This broad bill provides critical funding for many of our most important economic development projects in our state. I am especially pleased with the continued funding for Beebe Medical Center Nursing School to address the nursing shortage in our state and the additional infusion of funding for the hydrogen storage research program at Delaware State University which I believe will be integral to moving towards an environmentally-friendly energy policy,” Castle said. Among the transportation projects funded in the bill: — $2.5 million to construct runway and taxiway system for the Delaware Airpark in Dover. — $3 million for the new Indian River Inlet Bridge. — $2 million for turnpike improvements along I-95 and SR-1. — $1 million for the University of Delaware’s fuel-cell hybrid bus program to build a fuel-cell system for a vehicle built by Daimler-Chrysler. — $1 million to help the state purchase new full-sized, state-of-the-art buses for transit service in New Castle County. — $1.425 million for the Northeast Corridor Commuter Rail project, which will improve service from Wilmington to Newark. — $275,000 for Delaware’s Job Access and Reverse Commuter Grant Program to help welfare recipients get to work. — $250,000 for the establishment of a Hydrogen Storage Research center at Delaware State University (this is in addition to the money allocated through the energy and research spending bill). — Also included is legislative language calling on the Federal Aviation Administration to analyze the nighttime use of a technique that quiets the approach of planes as they land at the Philadelphia International Airport. Among the housing and economic development projects funded in the bill: — $250,000 to construct a new Easter Seals Facility in Georgetown to address the urgent need for expanded services for children and adults with disabilities in this fast-growing area. — $250,000 for renovations of the Ministry of Caring’s House of Joseph II in Wilmington, which provides a residence for homeless people living with AIDS. — $250,000 for the expansion of Beebe Medical Center’s School of Nursing to accommodate additional students. — $200,000 to expand St. Michael’s School and Nursery to provide space needed to serve up to 35% more infants and preschoolers and 50% more children for Kindergarten and Summer Camp. — $400,000 for the addition of 18 apartments for low and moderate-income seniors at the Lafayette Court Senior Apartments Project at the Wilmington Senior Center. — $200,000 for the development of the Lewes Canalfront Park, featuring a promenade and marina with 22 new boat slips for recreational boaters; a large village green; some 166,000 native plantings and trees; a circular pavilion; two scenic environmental wetlands areas; and a natural stormwater management system to reduce run-off into the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal. — $200,000 for the Wilmington Music School expansion, including property acquisition, renovations and the creation of a music library, to accommodate more students.