Community Project Funding
Consistent with its constitutional authority, Congress has reinstated its duty to proceed with community project funding.
The process will be carefully monitored with safeguards so that funds are judiciously and ethically allocated. In the past, for example, projects have aided in caring for our veterans, flood control and environmental protection, and transportation.
Any project to be considered must show a strong federal nexus, demonstrated public benefit as measured by rigorous public analysis, and local support and participation. Projects should also align with our well-communicated priorities for Nebraska and America.
These are the community-supported projects for which I’ve requested federal funds:
1) Surface Transportation Bill: US-275 Norfolk to Wisner
Project Location: US-275 east of Norfolk, NE from Jct N-57 to Wisner, NE
Project Sponsor: Nebraska Department of Transportation
Requested Amount: $83 million
2) Agriculture Research Service (ARS) National Center for Resilient & Regenerative Precision Agriculture at UNL
Project Recipient/Location: University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1400 R Street, Lincoln, NE 68588
Requested Amount: $40 million
Purpose: The partial funding ($40 million of an estimated $108 million beyond the current design work) would be used for the expansion of Agriculture Research Service (ARS) research at its Lincoln, Nebraska location to create a National Center for Resilient & Regenerative Precision Agriculture in partnership with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). ARS has deemed this location to be one of its highest priorities. The Center will address critical science gaps, develop and deploy climate-smart regenerative agricultural conservation and circular economy operational models and decision-support tools aligned with USDA Science Blueprint: Sustainable Ag Intensification; Ag Climate Adaptation; Food & Nutrition Translation; Value-Added Innovations; Ag Science Policy Leadership. The funding will be used for construction and operation of the co-located ARS facility on the Nebraska Innovation Campus.
3) Community Forestry Program Innovation in Community Forestry Design, Management of Infestations and Urban Tree Planting
Project Recipient/Location: Arbor Day Foundation 211 N. 12th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508
Requested Amount: $750,000
Purpose: Urban forests are increasingly important to the health of urban residents, yet project designs often reduce the long-term viability of new trees. Following the design principles of Frederick Law Olmsted, the Arbor Day Foundation will lead and support new, innovative tree planting design and systems for Nebraska cities by developing design plans and initial tree planting to enhance Nebraska’s urban canopies. A unique focus will be on managing the emerald ash borer infestation and suitable tree replacement in Lincoln, Nebraska. This approach to integrated management of existing urban forests while also focusing on innovative design and tree planting can be a framework for urban forests across America. Funding of $750,000 is requested for this urban forest renewal project.