November 23, 2004: Headlines: COS - Colombia: Congress: Santa Cruz Sentinel: Sam Farr secures $17M for his district

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Colombia: Special Report: Sam Farr: Sam Farr: Archived Stories: November 23, 2004: Headlines: COS - Colombia: Congress: Santa Cruz Sentinel: Sam Farr secures $17M for his district

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Saturday, November 27, 2004 - 8:11 pm: Edit Post

Sam Farr secures $17M for his district

Sam Farr secures $17M for his district

Sam Farr secures $17M for his district

Budget bill gives area big windfall
Sentinel staff writer

SANTA CRUZ — The federal government won’t be called Scrooge this holiday season.

Big bucks from Washington, D.C., are on their way to boost Central Coast agriculture, food donations, marine research and education, public transportation, tourist attractions and to combat gang violence.

The money is coming via the omnibus federal spending bill passed Saturday by Congress , of which $17 million was secured by Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, for the region.

About $5 million will be split between the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center in Santa Cruz, the Elkhorn Slough land acquisition, Monterey Bay Aquarium and the shark fishery research program at the Pacific Shark Research Center in Moss Landing.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz and San Benito counties is set to receive nearly $300,000 to complete buying and renovating its current facility to improve capacity, according to a report from Farr’s office.

"I am proud to be able to bring home funding that will help boost our local industries, fight gang violence and expand transportation services," Farr said in a statement.

Approximately $1.5 million is designated to help the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District pay for the planned $35 million multiuse Pacific Station — a renovation project that will expand bus service as well as provide parking, housing, retail and child-care facilities on Pacific Avenue.

Zip Realty

"We are thrilled," said Les White, transit district general manager. "We had almost given up on the appropriations bill."

The transit district is joining with the city’s Redevelopment Agency to push the Pacific Station project forward. Currently, the transit district is working to acquire land from the Greyhound bus company.

White estimates construction could begin in 2006.

More than $5 million is earmarked for local agriculture in which $3 million will go to the Salinas Agricultural Research Service Station; $1 million will help lettuce and organic-crop research projects, and nearly $600,000 are designated for sustainable agriculture research at UC Santa Cruz.

"The valleys of the Central Coast have some of the most fertile land in the world," Farr said. "With these programs, our agriculture industry will continue to flourish far into the future."

Included in the federal spending bill is $2.6 million to help the Pinnacles National Monument secure a public campground, additional grassland, endangered species and migratory habitat — a land acquisition plan considered among the most important within the National Park Service.

The Silver Star Gang Prevention and Intervention, a program of the Monterey County Probation Department, will receive $1 million.

Farr said he was disappointed that Congress failed to allocate money to correct "a flawed Medicare formula that under-compensates doctors in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties."

The federal funds were included in the Omnibus Appropriations Conference Report for fiscal year 2005, which was approved Saturday by both the House and Senate.

The bill now goes to the President.

Contact Shanna McCord at

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Story Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Colombia; Congress



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