Civic News & Info
Braley Statement on Postal Service Announcement Delaying All Post Office Closures until May 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Monday, 19 December 2011 15:14

Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement after the US Postal Service announced today that it was delaying the closure of any post offices or mail processing facilities until at least May 18th, 2012:

“Without question, the Postal Service needs to change to survive.  But it shouldn’t build its recovery on the backs of small town Americans by closing thousands of rural post offices.

 

“Delaying the closure of post offices for six months will allow for additional time to review the economic impact these closures have on Iowa towns, especially their impact on jobs.  This is the right move to ensure we’re not pulling the rug out from small towns that depend on their post offices.”

 

The Postal Service news release announcing the delay can be found at the following link: http://bit.ly/sKwPeS

For months, Braley has pressed for answers from the Postal Service on the impact of proposed closures of 178 Iowa post offices on local jobs and local economies.

In October, Braley successfully passed a bipartisan amendment to the Postal Reform Act that would require the Postal Service to report on the number of jobs that would be lost by proposed post office closures.

In July and again in September, Braley wrote Postmaster General Patrick Donohue to request figures on the projected impact of proposed closures of Iowa post offices and mail processing facilities on local jobs.

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Harkin Announces Over $80,000 for Veterans’ Housing PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Monday, 19 December 2011 15:10
WASHINGTON D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced that $81,517.00 has been awarded to the Davenport Housing Commission by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing initiative.  Harkin is a senior member of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds HUD.

“I am pleased that the Davenport Housing Commission has been awarded this very important grant,” said Harkin. “No one who has served our country should be living on its streets.  With the funding awarded today, this program will work to dissolve that problem.”

 
Braley Announces $40.6 Million to Help Rebuild Iowa Power Lines, Mitigate Floods PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Monday, 19 December 2011 15:09

Grants will help recovery from 2008 flooding

 

Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded $40.6 million to help repair power lines damaged throughout Iowa during the 2008 flood.

The FEMA grants will help repair hundreds of miles of power lines that sustained damage in 2008 due to a series of severe storms, tornadoes and heavy rains.

“This funding will help repair and replace power lines that were damaged during the 2008 flood,” Braley said.  “Not only will these grants restore the use of these power lines and improve infrastructure, they’re an investment in future economic growth across Iowa.”

 

A list of grant beneficiaries follows:

 

FEMA Grant Funding Amount 

Recipient and Project Summary 

$3,342,559  

 

Western Iowa Power Cooperative is proposing to retrofit 56.85 miles of electrical distribution lines.  The proposed activity completion timeframe is a total of 36 months.  On March 26, 2008, a federal disaster was declared due to a series of severe storms, tornadoes, and heavy rains. Public Assistance, Individual Assistance and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program were authorized under this declaration. 

$3,277,605  

 

Heartland Power Cooperative #1 is proposing to retrofit 117 miles of electrical distribution lines.  The proposed activity completion timeframe is a total of 36 months.  On May 26, 2008, a federal disaster was declared due to a series of severe storms, tornadoes, and heavy rains. Public Assistance, Individual Assistance and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program were authorized under this declaration. 

$2,205,278  

 

Heartland Power Cooperative #2 is proposing to retrofit 88.5 miles of electrical distribution lines.  The proposed activity completion timeframe is a total of 36 months.  On May 26, 2008, a federal disaster was declared due to a series of severe storms, tornadoes, and heavy rains. Public Assistance, Individual Assistance and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program were authorized under this declaration. 

$8,436,237  

 

East Central Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative is proposing to retrofit 246 miles of electrical distribution lines.  The proposed activity completion timeframe is a total of 36 months. On May 26, 2008, a federal disaster was declared due to a series of severe storms, tornadoes, and heavy rains. Public Assistance, Individual Assistance and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program were authorized under this declaration. 

$11,061,988 

Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative is proposing to retrofit 165.3 miles of overhead electrical distribution lines.  The proposed activity completion timeframe is a total of 36 months.  On May 26, 2008, a federal disaster was declared due to a series of severe storms, tornadoes, and heavy rains. Public Assistance, Individual Assistance and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program were authorized under this declaration. 

$3,994,407  

 

TIP Rural Electric Cooperative is proposing to retrofit 64.75 miles of electrical distribution lines.  The proposed activity completion timeframe is a total of 36 months.  On May 26, 2008, a federal disaster was declared due to a series of severe storms, tornadoes, and heavy rains. Public Assistance, Individual Assistance and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program were authorized under this declaration. 

$2,305,845  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guthrie County Rural Electric Cooperative is proposing to strengthen 49.4 miles of overhead electrical distribution lines.  The proposed activity completion timeframe is a total of 36 months.  On May 26, 2008, a federal disaster was declared due to a series of severe storms, tornadoes, and heavy rains. Public Assistance, Individual Assistance and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program were authorized under this declaration. 

$5,989,357 

City of Des Moines Acquisition. This project will acquire/demolish 61 residential flood prone properties and adjacent lots. The proposed activity completion timeframe is a total of 36 months. On March 2, 2010, a federal disaster was declared due to severe winter storms. Public Assistance and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program were authorized under this declaration. 

 

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HUD, VA TO PROVIDE PERMANENT HOUSING AND SUPPORT TO HOMELESS VETS IN DAVENPORT, IOWA PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Donna White   
Monday, 19 December 2011 15:06

KANSAS CITY – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced today that HUD will provide     $81,517 to the Davenport Housing Commission to supply permanent housing and case management for 15 homeless veterans in Davenport, Iowa.

This funding, from HUD’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH), is a coordinated effort by HUD, VA, and local housing agencies to provide permanent housing for homeless veterans.  Davenport is one of 18 communities to receive the remaining $2.4 million appropriated for 2011 that will support 435 vouchers.

This funding to local housing agencies is part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to end Veteran and long-term chronic homelessness by 2015.  Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness serves as a roadmap for how the federal government will work with state and local communities to confront the root causes of homelessness, especially among former servicemen and women.  Since 2008, HUD-VASH has provided more than 33,000 homeless veterans permanent supportive housing and supportive services.

“During this season of giving, I’m thrilled to announce that we have evidence that this funding is making a real difference to get homeless veterans off the street and into homes they can call their own,” said HUD Secretary Donovan.  “Thanks to the work done by HUD, and agency partners across the Obama Administration, the most recent homeless estimate shows veteran homelessness fell by nearly 12 percent in just one year.”

"This program provides critical assistance to those who have worn our nation's military uniforms and are in need of a home," said VA Secretary Shinseki. "VA and HUD will continue to work in partnership to end homelessness among veterans."

Today HUD also released its latest estimate on homelessness in America and found, veteran homelessness fell by nearly 12 percent (or 8,834 people) since January 2010.

The vouchers awarded today are part of the $50 million appropriated for Fiscal Year 2011 to support the housing needs of 7,250 homeless veterans.  VA Medical Centers (VAMC) provide supportive services and case management to eligible homeless veterans. Earlier this year, HUD awarded $46.2 million in HUD-VASH funding.

Homeless veterans are referred to the public housing agencies for these vouchers, based upon a variety of factors, most importantly the need for case management services. The HUD-VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides and the comprehensive case management that VAMC staff provides.

Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent.  VA offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico.

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HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and  transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s News Listserv.

 
Quinn, Durbin, Costello, Emanuel, Hoechst Announce Illinois to Receive $44 Million Transportation Investment PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Katelyn Tye   
Monday, 19 December 2011 14:53

Federal TIGER Grant Program Funding Will Support Three Illinois Projects

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 12, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), and U.S. Representative Jerry Costello (D-IL), Mayors Rahm Emanuel of Chicago and Tom Hoechst of Alton today announced that Illinois will receive a total of $44,288,000 in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant funding for three Illinois projects in the Chicagoland area and Alton. The grants represent approximately 8 percent of total funding available through the program.

Today’s announcement follows Governor Quinn’s recent trip to Washington D.C. to meet with the state congressional delegation where they discussed avenues where Illinois and the federal government can work more closely together to benefit the state’s 13 million residents.

“This investment is just one of the many results of the outstanding cooperation between local, state, and the federal government that will keep Illinois strong,” said Governor Quinn. “This funding will strengthen our state’s transportation system that is vital to growing our economy and creating jobs. I want to thank Sen. Durbin and Rep. Costello for their continued leadership in Washington on behalf of Illinois.”

“Two years ago, I worked in the Senate to develop the TIGER grant program which gives local communities and mayors the ability to apply directly to the federal government to fund projects that they identify as having a positive economic impact on their community,” said Durbin. “Illinois has benefitted greatly from the TIGER grant program due to the hard work of local officials and organizations in close coordination with the state and federal government. These investments will create hundreds of good-paying jobs across our state.”

“This is an important regional and national project that will make our transportation system more efficient and fully leverage the impact of high speed rail,” said Costello. “Linking together all of our modes - rail, highways, waterways and aviation - is critical for economic development and job creation. The City of Alton and the entire bi-state region is perfectly located to be a transportation hub and this funding will further these goals. I have worked closely with city officials and Secretary LaHood on this project, and I will continue to support efforts to modernize our transportation infrastructure.”

The following projects will receive funding under today’s announcement:

$13,850,000 – Multimodal Transportation Center in Alton, Illinois

Today’s TIGER grant funding for the Madison County Transit Board of Trustees and the City of Alton will help create a Multimodal Transportation Center in conjunction with the new High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail station in Alton, Illinois. The project will support a major expansion of eco-tourism to the Mississippi River region as well as a $72 million public-private investment in the planned Wadlow Town Centre redevelopment project on Homer Adams Parkway.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled with the news that the City of Alton and Madison County Transit will receive a TIGER grant for a new multimodal facility,” said Alton Mayor Tom Hoechst. “This facility will make taking the new 110 mph Amtrak service more convenient for citizens while spurring economic activity around the area.”

The $13,850,000 will help provide roadway and pedestrian access to the new Amtrak station and for construction of the multimodal and related infrastructure. It will also allow Madison County Transit to improve connectivity through the region including Southern Illinois University Edwardsville which attracts more than one-third of its 14,000-student body from metro Chicago and other cities along the high-speed rail corridor.

$20,000,000 – Chicago Transit Authority’s Blue Line/Chicago Bike Share Program

Today’s TIGER grant funding for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will help complete a project to repair 3.6 miles of track on the CTA’s Blue Line between Damen Avenue and Belmont Avenue finishing all track improvements between Chicago’s Downtown Loop and O’Hare International Airport. The TIGER grant will also help jumpstart Chicago’s planned bike-sharing program. This project targets deteriorated track in the remaining area of the Blue Line between the Loop and O'Hare Airport which has not yet been completed. It will alleviate CTA maintenance and operating costs, improve the deteriorated infrastructure and allow for shorter headways between trains. The bike-share program will give Chicagoans access to bike-share facilities at and around CTA bus and rail stations, giving travelers another option to get to their final destination.

“Chicago is a city on the move,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Revitalizing and modernizing our infrastructure is critical to creating jobs, maintaining our competitiveness, and enhancing the quality of life of residents throughout the city.  I want to thank Senator Durbin, Representative Luis Gutierrez and the Illinois delegation for their support and recognizing that this TIGER grant will help ensure we provide a solid foundation for the city’s future.”

Chicago is the only city in America that provides direct rail transit to two major airports. Together, O’Hare and Midway International Airports are the economic engine of the Chicago region, generating 540,000 jobs and $45 billion dollars annually in economic activity. There are more than 1,500 Department of Aviation employees at both airports and about 45,000 airport employees. There are 85 million annual passengers traveling through O’Hare and Midway with 1.13 million annual flights. Many of these employees and passengers take the Blue Line to and from the airports.

The Chicago bike-sharing program partially funded by this TIGER grant will improve the long-term efficiency, reliability, and cost competitiveness in the movement of people. Chicago’s bike-share program will foster sustainability by enhancing the public transportation options that support and encourage the development of existing communities. It will also improve energy efficiency, reduce dependence on oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Chicago bike-sharing system will improve the environmental sustainability of the Chicago transportation network by improving air quality. Users are expected to take an estimated 2.66 million trips in the first full year of operations and will travel an estimated 3.8 million miles.

$10,438,000 – Illinois Route 83 (Reconstruction of 2 Mile Span)

Today’s TIGER Grant funding for the Illinois Department of Transportation will help reconstruct two miles of Illinois Route 83 between Kedzie Avenue and Western Avenue / Dixie Highway with two travel lanes in each direction separated by a median to accommodate left turn lanes. The project, along with the planned interchange between Interstates 57 and 294, will reduce congestion, improve the flow of goods and services throughout the region and create about 135 construction jobs.

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