Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Vallejo M.I. water project funding OK'd

M.I. water project funding OK'd

By DAN JUDGE/Times-Herald staff writer

Article Launched: 06/24/2007 09:20:19 AM PDT

Federal funding for a water quality project on Mare Island has been given initial approval, Congressman George Miller, D-Martinez, has announced.

A congressional panel has recommended that $650,000 from an Environmental Protection Agency program be funneled into an upgrade of Mare Island's aging sanitary and storm drain system.

"That whole system was originally built in the 1800s," said Susan McCue, Vallejo's economic development manager. "We really need to upgrade the system and getting that federal funding is a really critical step."

Mare Island Naval Shipyard was closed in 1996 and the island has since been undergoing commercial and residential development.

In an effort to reach that goal, the city needed to overhaul the entire sanitary and storm drain system.

Vallejo budgeted money for the required local matching funds and asked Congress for help in completing the project.

Completion of the system is expected to improve the region's water quality while aiding Mare Island's commercial development.

Miller also announced that $100,000 in funding was given initial approval for the Maritime History Center for Working Families in Richmond.

Originally the Maritime Child Development Center, it was built during World War II as a nursery school for children of women working in the nearby Kaiser Company shipyards.

The Rosie the Riveter Trust plans to rehabilitate the building to create a historical center.

"I am pleased that the Appropriations Committee is supporting these two important projects in Vallejo and Richmond," Miller said in a prepared statement. "They will both enhance economic development and, in Richmond, the park project will enhance our community's and our nation's understanding of the important role the people and workers of Richmond played during World War II."

Funding for both projects is subject to final approval by the full Appropriations Committee and Congress.

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