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McCollum Secures $3.8 Million for Community Projects to Improve Regional Trails and Support New Americans

July 16, 2021
Press Release
FY 2022 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Bill Advances to House Floor

The House Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2022 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies bill and report today, including two Community Project Funding (CPF) requests made by Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) to benefit Minnesota’s Fourth Congressional District families by increasing access to the outdoors:

  • Project: Bruce Vento Trail ($1,300,000)
    This project request will provide final design and construction plans for a six-mile alternate regional trail alignment that is mainly outside of rail property on public land. These funds will also complete the last two undeveloped segments of the Bruce Vento Regional Trail from Buerkle Road to County Road J in the cities/township of Gem Lake, White Bear Lake, White Bear Township, Vadnais Heights in Ramsey County, Minnesota. Completing final design and construction documents will allow these last two segments to be shovel ready projects for implementation. This will complete a major gap in the Regional Bike Transportation Network and United States Bike Route 41 (USBR 41), provide critical connections to a proposed arterial bus rapid transit (BRT), and provide a multi-modal trail that does not exist today for pedestrian and bicycles in northern communities within Ramsey County.
  • Project: Central Greenway Regional Trail Improvements ($1,000,000)
    The Central Greenway Regional Trail project will improve the multiuse regional trail within Washington County, including new trail segments, pavement rehabilitation, and trailhead improvements. This project will provide improved regional and local pedestrian and bicycle connectivity to community destinations, improving accessibility, safety, and environmental conditions. Segments of the existing trail have passed their service life and are in need of pavement rehabilitation. New trail segments and trailheads are also needed to accommodate increased use and provide a safer experience for all.

“Federal funding to help complete the Bruce Vento Regional Trail through the Fourth District’s northern communities will help connect bike commuters to critical transportation routes,” Congresswoman McCollum said. “Additionally, improvements to the Central Greenway Regional Trail will make it safer and more accessible for East Metro families to enjoy. Securing these projects in this funding bill is a critical first step in seeing these improvements come to fruition for the benefit of our community.”

“We appreciate Rep. McCollum’s efforts to secure funding for the Bruce Vento Trail Extension,” said Ramsey County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt. “This popular trail provides transportation and recreation opportunities for people across the region and the extension will expand access in the northern part of the county. The federal partnership is key to making this happen and we are lucky to have Congresswoman McCollum fostering this investment in Ramsey County.”

“Residents have shown they love our parks and trails. The Central Greenway project will help us connect communities and three premiere regional parks in Washington County, as well as foster lasing shifts toward equity and inclusion for all residents,” said Washington County Board of Commissioners Chair Lisa Weik. “We are grateful for the leadership and support of Representative McCollum to help make Washington County a great place to live, work, and play.”

Congresswoman McCollum secured funding for an additional community project in MN-04:

  • Project: International Institute of Minnesota ($1,500,000)
    Founded in 1919, the International Institute of Minnesota helps New Americans successfully transition to new lives, build self-sufficiency and achieve economic independence. The Institute is recognized as a leader in programs for immigrants and refugees and is a national model for New American workforce development. To increase the number of New Americans served annually, as well as expand the number of career pathways for New Americans to pursue, the Institute is investing in a comprehensive renovation of its existing 18,000-square-foot-space and the addition of a 16,000+ square foot wing containing six new classrooms, interactive training labs, a welcoming and functional lobby and gathering spaces for clients and their families.

“International Institute of Minnesota’s renovations will help more New Americans build successful futures – an effort I’m proud to support,” Congresswoman McCollum said. “I’ll continue to work with the Institute to bring this funding to our community.”

“This investment demonstrates Congresswoman McCollum's commitment to welcoming New Americans to Minnesota and building the workforce system in our state,” said Jane Graupman, executive director of the International Institute of Minnesota. “The Institute has been helping immigrants and refugees settle in Minnesota for over 100 years – contributing to the rich cultural diversity and economic prosperity that has fueled Minnesota's past and will catalyze our future.”

Background:
For 2022, the T-HUD bill provides funding of $84.1 billion, an increase of $8.7 billion – more than 11 percent – above 2021. This includes an increase of $6.8 billion is for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and $1.9 billion for the Department of Transportation. In total, the bill provides $162.6 billion in budgetary resources, an increase of $25.9 billion above 2021. The legislation:

  • Creates tens of thousands of good-paying American jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure with significant investments in airports, highways, transit, passenger rail, and port systems
  • Grows opportunity through homeownership and rental assistance, including more than 125,000 new housing vouchers targeted to individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness and over 4,000 new units for seniors and persons with disabilities
  • Supports the vulnerable with public housing safety, maintenance and improvement investments, such as the remediation of lead paint and radon and installation of energy and water efficient systems
  • Promotes safe transportation and housing with a skilled and growing workforce to conduct inspections, mitigate hazards, and study emerging threats and innovative solutions
  • Reduces emissions, increases resiliency, and addresses historical inequities in transportation and housing programs through targeted grants and investments

The bill next heads to the floor of the U.S. House Floor for debate and approval.

A summary of the bill is here. The text of the draft bill is here. The bill report is here. In keeping with the Appropriations Committee’s commitment to transparency, information on Community Project Funding in the bill is here.

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