Federal funds for a dozen local projects ranging from a Broadway Market upgrade to construction of a new art gallery were included in the 1,000-page omnibus appropriations bill passed in the hectic closing hours of the 108th Congress.
New York's two Democratic senators, Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, affirmed Sunday that the bill will bring funds for the bioinformatics center at the University at Buffalo for the current year to $5.25 million.
Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence, said this year's work will bring total federal funding to $25.75 million in four years, topping a pledge he made in 2001 to help channel $25 million to the center.
The senators said the bill contains $300,000 for the Burchfield-Penney Art Center, which seeks to build a new gallery adjacent to Buffalo State College.
The legislation provides $350,000 to aid construction of a second floor at the Augustin "Pucho" Olivencia Center for Latinos on Buffalo's West Side.
All members representing Buffalo Niagara voted for the $388 billion bill except retiring Rep. Jack F. Quinn Jr., R-Hamburg, who was absent.
Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, said $2 million is included for site development for the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. An additional $4.5 million for the downtown research campus was provided in a six-year transportation spending plan that died when Congress adjourned.
The 115-year-old Broadway Market will get $97,000.
Also announced by Slaughter were $72,750 for the Town of Tonawanda Fire Tower; $300,000 for the Center for Hospice & Palliative Care/Hospice Buffalo; and $250,000 for the Hauptmann-Woodward Structural Biology Research Center.
The catch-all appropriations bill also contains $500,000 for Roswell Park Cancer Institute's Data Bank and BioRepository. Roswell Park and Hauptman-Woodward are part of the medical campus.
Despite the death of the six-year bill, Quinn press secretary Charlie Keller said he thinks that federal funds for improvements to the former Memorial Auditorium for a Bass Pro retail center are safe because they were appropriated and reprogrammed in previous sessions of Congress. But he was unable to explain how.
However, Keller said, authorization for an access road from Interstate 190 to the prospective retail center might have lapsed with the stillborn six-year bill.
The legislation, which will be signed soon by President Bush, also includes $75,000 for the Town of Niagara Police Department to equip a sport utility vehicle as a mobile communications platform; $200,000 for the "It Happened to Alexa" Foundation in Lewiston, a nonprofit organization that helps rape victims and their families through the trauma of criminal trials, including when the crime occurs out of town; $88,000 for Eighteen Mile Creek cleanup; and $175,000 for Wilson Harbor pier repair.
Reynolds said the bill also contains $930,000 for the Center for Special Education and After School Programs at Daemen College, bringing funds for the center to $2.86 million in three years.
Jewish Family Services of Buffalo & Erie County will receive $50,000 for improved services, and the Town of Wheatfield will get $2 million to help fund sanitary collection sewers.
The bill includes $250,000 for Erie County Medical Center for an innovative bar-coding program; $50,000 for the Cheektowaga Senior Center; $250,000 in funds to support the construction of the Plant No. 3 Overflow Retention Facility in Cheektowaga; and $650,000 for the Town of Newstead and the Village of Williamsville for their water systems.
In addition, the bill provides $250,000 for Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming, and Livingston counties for the Upstate New York Telemedicine Study. The study will examine data from rural communities in order to improve delivery of health care in those areas, Reynolds said.