U.S. House Approves Area Funding

    WASHINGTON — Several West Michigan projects received funding approval this week as the U.S. House of Representatives completed work on its appropriations bills for the fiscal year 2004 cycle.

    Congressman Vernon J. Ehlers announced that House members voted 242-176 in favor of the bill, which appropriates more than $373 billion for programs ranging from health care to education to transportation, as well as science, Social Security, veterans care, law enforcement and others.

    Ehlers, R-Grand Rapids, joined 183 other Republicans and 58 Democrats in supporting the legislation. The bill still requires action in the U.S. Senate.

    Among the funding for West Michigan projects is:

    • $1.55 million for a multimode surface transportation center for Grand Rapids.
    • $1.2 million for countywide implementation of the Grand Rapids and Kent County Metropolitan Job Access Plan.
    • $750,000 for combined sewer overflow improvements in Grand Rapids.
    • $600,000 for intelligent transportation system equipment and implementation for ITP/The Rapid.
    • $470,000 for development of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility for the Van Andel Research Institute.

    • $230,000 to expand the West Side Health Center of Cherry Street Health Services in Grand Rapids.
    • $50,000 for the Grand Valley Teacher Academy at Grand Valley State University.
    • $40,000 for vehicle replacement and communication equipment for Belding Dial-A-Ride.
    • $20,000 for replacement maintenance equipment and computers for Barry County Transit.

    “Each of these projects will greatly enhance the way of life in West Michigan,” Ehlers said. “I am proud to have shepherded these projects through the appropriations process and return these federal tax dollars back to our area.”    

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