The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds are now available for the projects that I championed and were approved for House District 31. These infrastructure projects will benefit our communities for years to come. As your state representative, I am honored to be working with our local leaders to bring funding back to our district.
My collaborative work with Senator Betsy Johnson on the ARPA projects paid huge dividends for HD 31. By dividing up the projects, we were able to more than triple the amount of investment for our communities. I am pleased that funding will go to critically needed infrastructure improvements for the City of Scappoose water and wastewater facilities. In the City of Vernonia, there will be transportation grid improvements to connect a new developing section of the community to schools and other community assets.
In addition, through the Ways and Means process, $20 million of ARPA funding specifically earmarked for critical drinking water, storm water and sanitary sewer projects has been awarded to HD 31 municipalities. Those awards include $10 million for wastewater treatment in the City of Clatskanie and an additional $10 million for water infrastructure in the City of Scappoose.
The City of Rainier will get the technical assistance they need regarding the Fox Creek Culvert. The Fox Creek Culvert project involves many stakeholders, including private and public property owners and improvements are needed to address ongoing issues with flood hazard mitigation and fish passage. City officials will be working with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to find solutions to the myriad of problems connected with the Fox Creek Culvert.
Important health and public safety projects will benefit residents and visitors to Sauvie Island through improvements to the Sauvie Island Fire District. I was able to direct the ARPA grants to supply the necessary funding for facility and equipment acquisitions and improvements. There is money for a new primary fire engine, construction of a new satellite fire station on the northern portion of the island, and an air boat, trailer and pick-up truck to respond to water rescues.
In the community of Linnton, there will be expanded community shoreline access, with the construction of a new ADA path to provide more local outdoor recreation opportunities. This project extends the newly-completed pedestrian pathway to a river lookout point, and builds a path down to the sandy beach at the waters’ edge. ARPA funding is also directed to earthquake retrofits at the Linnton Neighborhood Association’s Community Center.
The Linnton Community Center serves as a central gathering place, and includes space for preschool and after-school care, a gym, food bank and community meeting space. This has been a community asset for nearly a century, and by making it earthquake resilient this community treasure can serve local residents well into the next century.
The Skyline Grange will also get a much needed retrofit, which includes restrooms that are ADA approved and accessible. There will also be an additional entrance/exit which will be necessary to perform any emergency evacuations at the building. This critical infrastructure funding will be used to transform Skyline Grange to achieve the goal of being more accessible, safe and a welcoming place for all.
Currently, I’m working with the community leaders of these organizations to work through the application process, so we can get these projects funded and completed as soon as possible. The benefits of these many worthwhile projects will be felt and appreciated for many years to come.
Staying in touch
Even when I am not in Salem, I’m still working with constituents, community leaders and other elected officials on matters that impact our lives. We check our messages daily, so if you have a concern, comment or need help regarding a state issue or agency, please contact my office. I am honored to represent you in the Oregon House of Representatives, and look forward to hearing from you.
Rep. Brad Witt serves House District 31. He may be reached at: