Congressman Artur Davis announced today that he has secured $2,350,000 in federal funding for the 7th Congressional District. These projects were included in the FY 2010 Omnibus package of appropriations bills passed by the House this afternoon.
Davis was the Congressional sponsor of the seven projects, including a crime prevention project in Birmingham, an economic development initiative in Clarke County aimed to draw new businesses to the region, and funding to help preserve and restore infrastructure and exhibits at the National Voting Rights Museum in Selma.
“All of these projects will provide assistance to communities who are bearing the brunt of the recession. In addition, these communities are facing the reality of diminished revenues,” said Congressman Davis. “In my final year in Washington, we will continue to work with local officials on our efforts to return tax dollars to cities and counties within the 7th District.”
Congressman Davis announced the following projects:
- Selma – The National Voting Rights Museum & Institute, $450,000
This request will allow the Museum to preserve the physical structure of the museum and to assist in the restoration and preservation of historical exhibits on the history of voting rights in America. The National Voting Rights Museum & Institute, the only facility of its kind in the world, opened its doors in 1993, as a permanent memorial to the struggle to obtain voting rights for disenfranchised African Americans. The mission of the Museum is to collect, preserve and display artifacts and exhibits, which document and portray the history of voting rights in America.
- Demopolis – Demopolis Airport Industrial Park, $400,000
The Demopolis Airport Industrial Park is currently not supplied with sanitary sewer services. This project will not only supply these much needed services to the park, but it will also be instrumental in crafting a new and vibrant industrial environment. Marengo County is currently coping with an 11.4 percent unemployment rate and the improvements to the industrial park will provide a much needed boost to the county, and the region’s economic development.
- Greene County – Crossroads of America Industrial Park , $400,000
The Crossroads of America Industrial Park, which was rebuilt in the aftermath of the devastating collapse of the Port at Crossroads in 1999, has recently received a commitment from a private company to locate in the park. Construction on this site is slated to begin in the near future and an up to date master plan will provide the Industrial Development Board with the information necessary to aggressively compete to attract additional industries and to take advantage of recent plant openings in the state expected to bring additional suppliers to Alabama. The park has a number of unique assets in the way of intermodal transportation facilities that will be attractive to businesses and can help the County to replace a significant portion of its revenue stream that was lost when the Port at Crossroads collapsed.
- Clarke County – Clarke County Economic Development Initiative, $400,000
Clarke County Commission, along with the five municipalities of the county, has endorsed this initiative and has committed in excess of $6 million for this project over the next ten years. The requested funding will be used for both land acquisition and buildings and equipment, as well as other infrastructure needs such as utility hookups. This initiative will serve one of Alabama’s most distressed areas, including neighboring Wilcox County which has an unemployment rate of 11.2%. This project is particularly significant given the number of new suppliers that will be moving to the nearby Mobile area as a result of recent plant openings by two large private companies. Due to its close proximity to Mobile, the Clarke County Economic Development Initiative would play an important role in drawing new businesses to Clarke County putting in place a bold economic plan to serve the entire region.
- Tuscaloosa – Literacy Council of West Alabama, $250,000
The Literacy Council of West Alabama Initiative is a program that will function as an eight county wide basic literacy delivery system. This program includes research and best practices clearinghouse for literacy programs and services; training for literacy counselors, tutors and other such educational components; technical support for current literacy providers who otherwise couldn’t afford it; marketing and communication initiatives aimed at gaining awareness of illiteracy; and marketing and administrative support for the delivery of these services.
- Birmingham – Urban Crime Prevention Initiative, $250,000
The funding for this initiative will increase the number of policemen on the street and give them the necessary crime prevention equipment such as the Shot Spotter and GPS technology. These materials are needed to quell the city’s growing crime situation. A national 2008 Congressional Quarterly study ranked Birmingham, Alabama # 8 in America, indicating an above average rate of crimes. This program will increase public safety in the city and deter future criminal activity, thus leading to a more confident and productive community.
- Center Point – Center Point Community Policing Project, $200,000
The funding will allow for an increase in the presence and availability of sheriff deputies in the city’s jurisdiction over a three year period of time. According to a document released by the United States Army Combined Arms Center, to maintain security in peaceful countries, the proper ratio of policemen to population is somewhere between 1 and 4 officers per 1,000 citizens, with cities needing higher levels than other areas, and the City of Center Point falls below this standard. In the interest of public safety and civic development, these funds will be instrumental in mitigating a potentially dismal situation. Currently, Center Point does not have an active police force, however the city continues to provide help and aid in public safety by contracting sheriff deputies from Jefferson County. This funding will allow additional patrolmen on the streets of Center Point