WASHINGTON, D.C, - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced today that the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee  passed $2.75 million in federal funds for Ohio transportation and infrastructure projects. The funding, which was secured by Brown, was included in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act of 2010.

“Investing in Ohio’s transportation infrastructure is critical to ensuring the long-term economic competitiveness of our state,” Brown said. “These funds will help communities make necessary improvements to buildings, roads, and public transportation.”

Funds for Rail Projects

This bill includes $700,000 in funds to improve the capacity of the passenger and freight trains for the Ohio Rail Development Commission and the Ohio Department of Transportation. The Midwest Regional Rail System will integrate the region’s air, highway, and local transit networks along 3,000-mile interstate rail network with more than 45 proposed passenger stations.

“The Midwest Regional Rail System will serve 22 million people in five states and southern Ontario, Canada,” Brown said. “These improvements will enhance economic development throughout the state.”

Additional projects receiving funds in the bill can be found below.
$400,000 for Noble County Health Department Renovations - Noble County Commissioners
This funding would expand public health services and increase the Noble County Health Department’s building functionality and energy efficiency. These funds were secured by Brown.

$500,000 for Renovation and Improvement Project - Freestore Foodbank, Inc.
This funding would provide a major renovation of the 110,000-sq-ft Mayerson Food Distribution Center. The renovation will allow the center to increase capacity and food handling efficiency and provide a suitable space to the Nonprofit Training Center. These funds were secured by Brown.

$700,000 Ohio Hub Plan - Ohio Rail Development Commission
This funding will support the Ohio Rail Development Commission and the Ohio Department of Transportation expansion of transportation capacity by improving the regional railroad system for both passenger and freight trains. These funds were secured by Brown.

$500,000 The Clean and Green Bus Replacements Initiative - Ohio Public Transit Association
This funding would replace public transit buses for more environmentally-friendly electric or bio-fuel propulsion buses. These funds were secured by Brown and Sen. George V. Voinovich.

$600,000 Renovations and Building Improvements - El Centro de Servicios Sociales, Inc.
This funding would renovate the facilities at El Centro to allow them to provide more services. El Centro is a Hispanic/Latino non-profit advocacy organization that presents social, education, cultural, and community development service to the Greater Lorain Community.

The bill must be passed by the full Senate and conference with the House before heading to the president’s desk for signature.