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PRESS RELEASE: Walden Helps Secure Federal Investments for Klamath Area Projects and Organizations

{followed by  Smith, Wyden secure funding for Basin projects}

Congressional Budget includes funding for City Wastewater Project, OIT, Public Health Department, Hwy. 140; three-percent increase in Klamath Project budget

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) today announced that Klamath County projects and entities will receive over $10 million for fiscal year 2005 from the comprehensive appropriations bill passed by Congress on Saturday, November 20.  This amount does not include the 2005 budget of $26 million for the Klamath Project.  The appropriations were a result of efforts in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.    

“I am proud to have worked with Senators Smith and Wyden throughout the appropriations process to ensure that Oregonians receive the support they deserve,” continued Walden.  “It is imperative that we continue to work together for our constituents so that their interests are heard and their needs met.”

“All of these investments are a step forward for the Klamath region, providing needed funding for infrastructure and services throughout Klamath and Lake Counties,” continued Walden.  “Healthcare, transportation, education and public lands all play an integral role in the quality of life residents of the area have come to appreciate.  These investments will help maintain and enhance that quality of life.”

The Klamath Project has received a budget of just over $26 million for 2005 through the Bureau of Reclamation, a three-percent increase over last year.  In addition, the National Parks Service budget contains an investment of $8.7 million for Crater Lake construction projects, including the rehabilitation of the cafeteria building and the relocation of the Rim Parking Area to improve visitor satisfaction and safety. 

Also included in the spending bill is a total $450,000 for the Klamath Falls Wastewater Project.  The funding will be used by the City of Klamath Falls for upgrades to three municipal systems providing wastewater treatment, storm water management, sanitary sewer collection and water reclamation and reuse. 

The Klamath County Public Health Department will receive $75,000 for their relocation to a new facility that will house all public health programs.  The move from their current 100-year old building will provide a better environment for the servicing of health needs throughout the region.  The Public Health Department will also implement new programs from their updated facility, including those associated with bio-terrorism detection, epidemiology and associated control measures.

Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) will receive $120,000 to help expand their enrollment capacity as well as to upgrade facilities and equipment to educate new health care professionals.  The funding will be used to enhance the Center of Health Professions’ programs in Medical Imaging Technology, Dental Hygiene, Health Sciences, Clinical Laboratory Sciences, EMT-Paramedic, and a collaborative program in Nursing with Oregon Health & Science University.

“There is an ever-increasing demand for healthcare professionals in rural areas,” said Walden, co-chair of the House Rural Health Care Coalition.  “OIT’s aggressive goals to help meet this demand will go a long way toward providing health care to all Oregonians.”

In Lake County, $900,000 has been allocated to a project to improve safety and traffic flow on Hwy. 140.  The project will open up a section of highway currently off limits to truck traffic by correcting four curves, consequently allowing a greater flow of commercial traffic along the route. 

Congressman Walden represents the Second Congressional District of Oregon, which includes 20 counties in southern, central and eastern Oregon.  He is a Deputy Whip in the House leadership structure and a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as the Committee on Resources.



Smith, Wyden secure funding for Basin projects


Published November 22, 2004

H&N Staff Report

A massive federal spending bill approved in Congress over the weekend includes millions of dollars for the Klamath Reclamation Project as well as city and county projects and a new program being developed at OIT.

Funding for projects in Oregon was announced Sunday by Oregon Sens. Gordon Smith, a Republican, and Ron Wyden, a Democrat.

The money is included in the omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2005, which starts July 1. It now awaits President Bush's signature.

The bill provides for a $27 million budget for the Klamath Reclamation Project.

Dave Sabo, Project manager, said Reclamation officials requested that amount for the upcoming fiscal year. He expects, however, that some will be cut as the year proceeds.

"I don't know what my final budget is," he said.

Last year's budget appropriation was $25 million, but the Project ended up getting about $22 million, Sabo said.

In this year's request, $8 million would go to the Bureau's water bank program, and $10 million to support federally required fish monitoring and studies and water supply enhancement program.

Much of the rest would go for operation and maintenance of the Project, paying the Project's staff and other annual costs.

Another $1 million is set aside for water quality and flow measurement equipment on the project, according to the release. Oregon will share the money with the state of California.

Oregon Institute of Technology will receive $120,000 for a program it is developing.

"We are excited about this new funding," said OIT President Martha Anne Dow. "This money will be used to advance OIT's major initiative this year, which is our vision for a new Center For Health Professions."

"It will help us advance our business plan for the center, including expanding our network of support in Oregon for the construction of a new facility on the Klamath Falls campus," she said in a statement issued this morning.

OIT's business model focuses on three strategic initiatives - increased enrollment capacity, upgraded facilities, and expanded outreach, she added.

"We appreciate tremendously the support of our Congressional delegation in making these funds available. I especially want to recognize the support of Rep. Greg Walden and Senators Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden have provided to this OIT initiative," Dow said.

The city of Klamath Falls will receive $250,000 to do preliminary work on its wastewater treatment facility, and $200,000 to be used for infrastructure improvements on the facility.

City Manager Jeff Ball said the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will be making stricter standards for businesses and governments that add any waste products to their local rivers and lakes, and the money the city receives will go to meeting the higher standards.

Ball said the higher standards have been in the works for a while.

"This has been going on for 15 years and the study money will help us determine what we need to do in terms of improvements to meet the new standards," Ball said.

The city is not yet sure how infrastructure money will be used, but Ball said it is considering either making improvements to the current treatment plant or finding a land-based method to treat wastewater.

Local delegates that brought federal money to Klamath Falls should be acknowledged, Ball said.

"The grant money is something Mayor (Todd) Kellstrom and I went back to Washington, D.C., and worked on earlier this year. We really appreciate our delegates that worked on this. It really helps the whole community," Ball said.

The Klamath County Public Health Department also received $75,000. There was no information immediately available on how the money would be used.

Also in the bill are:

  • $1 million for the Rogue River Basin Project.
  • $631,000 for the management and operation of the Deschutes Project.
  • $500,000 for the Deschutes Ecosystem Restoration project.
  • $1.2 million for terminal construction at the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport.

    Dylan Darling, Angela Torretta and Doug Higgs contributed to this report.

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