Channel Project Gets $9 Millionby Mitch Lies
Capital Press - November 26, 2004
The U.S. Congress provided the largest amount of funds to date to deepen the Columbia River between Portland and the Pacific Ocean when it gave the project $9 million in an omnibus appropriations bill over the weekend, according to a press release from the Columbia River Channel Coalition.
The bill is expected to be signed by President Bush.
The appropriation, combined with previous federal funding and state funding from Oregon and Washington, could allow the U.S. Corps of Engineers to issue a dredging contract in the spring or summer of 2005, according to the coalition.
The $9 million appropriation marks the largest of four congressional appropriations for the projects. It tops the $4.5 million appropriated in 2001, the $2 million in 2003 and the $3.5 million appropriated in fiscal year 2004.
“Given the current budget deficit, we’re very pleased with such a strong level of funding,” said the coalition’s president, Ken O’Hollaren in the release.
Congress pledged to fund the $150 million project in 1999 with Washington and Oregon contributing $27.7 million each. The $9 million federal appropriation was a compromise between the House and Senate versions ($3 million and $15 million respectively) of the 2005 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.
In the bill congress also appropriated $3 million to sudden oak death research and $325,000 to The Oregon Garden for a sustainable plant research center and marketing efforts.
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