Cicilline Secures $22+ Million for Rhode Island Projects in 2023 Spending Bill

This week, Congress sent the spending package for Fiscal Year 2023 to President Biden for his signature. Included in this package is funding for all 15 projects that Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) submitted to the Appropriations Committee on behalf of his constituents and local organizations.“I’m proud that all of the projects I fought to include in this bill were passed this week. These 15 projects will help Rhode Island families with childcare and affordable housing, with the development and expansion of community centers, allow for better fire protection, and help us develop a safer, cleaner, and more efficient water supply. This funding will also support our community’s mental health and bolster learning opportunities for our students,” said Congressman Cicilline.Included in H.R. 2617 is $22,576,600 for the following projects:

  • East Providence Community Center: $3,000,000
    • The funding will be used to support the development of a community center for use by youth, families, older residents, and civic organizations. The new center will allow East Providence to offer recreation programming, job training, health monitoring services, public safety training, community meetings, and more. The center will also be utilized by the East Providence Police Department to conduct training and community police outreach programming. City residents have expressed their support for additional recreational space via the approval of two voter referendums to issue bonds for construction of a new recreation center. The City lacks community space, and the addition of this Center will be a tremendous resource where residents can easily access key programming and services.
  • Renovation of Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County’s (BGCNC) Clubhouse: $750,000
    • The funding will be used to support the renovation and expansion of BGCNC’s Central Clubhouse, which will double the center’s childcare capacity. When completed in its entirety, the project will result in the addition of a third floor consisting of 3,500 square feet and the reconfiguration of 3,000 square feet on the existing floors, all of which will be utilized for childcare programming. The project will add childcare slots to be filled by children from low-income households in the community, thereby increasing access to affordable childcare in Newport County, giving more children the support they need for a lifetime of learning, allowing family members to remain in the workforce, and enabling caregivers to enter and stay employed in this critical field.
  • Progresso Latino, Inc. Facility Purchase and Renovation: $3,000,000
    • This funding will be used to purchase and renovate a new facility for Progresso Latino, a Latino-led, community-based organization that was established in 1977 and serves up to 15,000 people annually. The organization offers bilingual programs, including early education, adult education, workforce development, domestic violence prevention and intervention, immigration and social services, financial literacy and volunteer income tax assistance, small business development, senior programs, health and wellness programs, and a food pantry. Community demand for Progreso Latino’s services has outgrown the capacity of its current location. This funding will enable the organization to move into a larger space where they can offer expanded programming to the community.
  • MacColl YMCA Nature Studies Center & Outdoor Pavilion: $750,000
    • This funding will be used to construct a new outdoor pavilion, providing a sheltered outdoor classroom space and an area for additional programming. The MacColl YMCA is a heavily utilized site with more than 17,000 visits monthly. The Pavilion will be the only outdoor structure of its kind in the area, and the YMCA will make it available for use by the community. The addition of the outdoor programming space will support enhanced services and offer an area that can be utilized during times of inclement weather.
  • North Smithfield Senior/Multigenerational Facility Construction: $4,000,000
    • This funding will be used to convert the existing community space, Scouters Hall, into a full-service senior center with an outdoor seating area and walking paths. The senior center will provide a space where older adults can participate fully in the community, socialize, and receive essential services and assistance. The long-term goal of the Town is to transform Scouters Hall into a multigenerational facility that could be utilized by residents of all ages.
  • City of Pawtucket Land Acquisition for the Development of Affordable Housing: $2,000,000
    • The funding will be used to acquire vacant or blighted properties in the City of Pawtucket to redevelop them into safe and affordable housing. Based on current median housing prices, the City aims to acquire five to six properties to be redeveloped for multi-family, owner-occupied, first-time homebuyers. Many residents in the City of Pawtucket are cost-burdened by their housing expenses. This project will help the City address the lack of affordable housing by creating new residential units. Additionally, this project will remove blighted lots, which have a negative impact on communities by decreasing surrounding property values, reducing local tax revenue, and posing safety hazards.
  • Repurposing Osram-Sylvania to Meet Central Falls’ Economic and Housing Needs: $2,600,000
    • The funding will be used to support the development of thirty-six units of affordable and market-rate housing, open space, parking, and ground-level commercial space. Central Falls, Rhode Island’s most socioeconomically disadvantaged community, has reached an agreement with the new owner of the former Osram-Sylvania lightbulb manufacturing facility to acquire a portion of the 9.5-acre site for redevelopment. The project will involve the acquisition of two acres to be redeveloped for community use. Once completed in its entirety, the project will create 110 housing units. Aside from helping to alleviate housing issues in the City, the redevelopment will create jobs during construction and will support new economic development in the commercial space.
  • Touisset Fire Protection, Town of Warren: $825,000
    • This funding will be used to install underground water storage tanks in Touisset Point, a densely populated area where there is currently no public water supply and, consequently, no water available for fire protection. Homes in the area either rely on individual wells or are connected to a community well, which is shallow and does not provide sufficient flow for fire protection purposes. The area has experienced residential fires over the past two years, resulting in total losses for two properties. This investment will provide important resources to address local public safety concerns.
  • Town of Smithfield for a Water and Sewer Project: $840,000
    • This funding will be used for the initial phase of a utility extension project in Smithfield that will eventually provide municipal sewer and water to properties within the Town’s designated growth center along George Washington Highway, Route 116. The proposed first leg of the utility extension includes extending an 8-inch water main and a 15-inch sewer main approximately 830 feet to George Washington Highway. This designated growth center is a 71-acre area that has not developed to its full potential due, in part, to a lack of basic infrastructure to support municipal sewers and water. This project will immediately benefit several existing industrial, manufacturing, office, retail, hospitality, and mixed-use properties, while also allowing for future business and economic development within the designated growth center.
  • Town of Bristol for the Sewer Rehabilitation Area 2 and 3 Project: $1,248,000
    • This funding will be used to support the rehabilitation of 11,500 linear feet of asbestos cement gravity sewer pipes and associated manholes. Bristol has an aged collection system, with parts dating back to the 1910s.  More than half of the system is between 31 and 50 years old, and materials used for construction, particularly clay pipe and asbestos cement pipes, are worsening in condition. Rehabilitation or replacement of failing pipelines will help ensure a safe conveyance of wastewater to the wastewater handling facility, lessen basement back-ups and sanitary sewer overflow occurrences resulting from failed pipes, and reduce infiltration by limiting pathways for groundwater to enter the system.
  • Town of Cumberland for a Returning Stormwater Runoff Project: $1,200,000
    • This funding will be used to address chronic stormwater drainage issues in the largest industrial park in Cumberland. The 68-acre business park is home to the largest employers in the Town. In recent years, business operations have been impacted by increased flooding due to extreme weather events caused by climate change. The project will fund installation of infrastructure to efficiently collect and treat stormwater run-off and transport it into the State’s drainage system. This project will resolve chronic flooding in the area, helping to protect other infrastructure that is degraded by the flood water. This effort also supports improved economic activity as business operations will not be impeded during storm events. Lastly, capture, treatment, and incorporation of runoff into the State stormwater system will help protect water and environmental quality, benefitting Rhode Islanders.
  • East Bay Community Action Program (EBCAP) Infrastructure Project: $513,600
    • The funding will be used to support renovation and improvements at one of the EBCAP’s Integrated Health facilities. This facility offers behavioral health and medical services, as well as services that address the social determinants of health. It is the only facility that provides integrated care for Severe, Persistent Mentally Ill (SPMI) patients living in the East Bay area, which includes ten municipalities. East Bay Community Action Program provides care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay, serving more than 2,000 clients annually. Many of these patients live with SPMI and would not otherwise be able to have their behavioral health and medical needs addressed at any singular practice in the East Bay.
  • Newport Mental Health Access Center: $1,000,000
    • This project will facilitate the construction of a new and centrally located Mental Healthcare Access Center in Newport County. These funds will support architectural costs, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, sound, light, and landscape systems design costs, and the first $300,000 of hard construction costs. This urgently needed facility will be accessible by public transportation and ideally part of a multi-agency, multi-service access hub for healthcare services. The project would enable Newport County Community Mental Health Center to increase their capacity of care and address the growing need for mental health care services in the community.
  • AfterZone Summer STEAM Camp: $350,000
    • This funding will be used to re-establish the AfterZone Summer STEAM Camp. Providence After School Alliance, LLC will offer free, full-day programs, serving 225 middle school youth. The Camp will be available to students from all seven public middle schools in Providence, as well as other local schools serving the Providence community. The programming is designed to complement school year classes and contextualize scientific principles and integrate applied mathematics through engaging activities, field trips, and experiences that are novel to many of Providence’s low-income youth. This out of school time learning will help address academic and social-emotional learning loss that Providence students have experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to stronger learning and mental health outcomes within the City’s adolescent population.
  • Tiverton Public Safety Communications Project: $500,000
    • This funding will be used to purchase a state-of-the-art emergency dispatch console and updated 800 MHz radios for police officers and vehicles. Enhancements through this project will result in the Town’s Police, Fire, and Public Works Departments having an interoperable communications network, helping to improve public safety and coordination during emergencies.

 

Congressman Cicilline Spends Christmas with Troops in the Middle EastVisits with Rhode Islanders in Bahrain and Kuwait

 

 

 

Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Global Counterterrorism, is currently leading a bipartisan delegation of six Members of Congress to visit U.S. troops overseas to thank them for their service, participate in briefings from senior military and diplomatic personnel on U.S. strategic objectives in the region, and engage with foreign government officials. The delegation departed Andrews Air Force Base Friday afternoon for Bahrain, where they spent Christmas Eve, and then travelled to Kuwait for Christmas Day. While in Bahrain, the delegation participated in a choir performance, Christmas tree decorating competition, and a stockings handout. In Kuwait, delegation members served Christmas dinner to the troops and then joined them for the meal.

“I’ve been proud to lead this holiday-time delegation to visit our troops in the past and am grateful to bring it back after a three-year hiatus due to COVID,” said Congressman Cicilline. “Those who wear the uniform, and their families, make incredible sacrifices every single day and it is an honor and a privilege to have this opportunity to thank them in person – especially as they are away from loved ones at this time of year. We owe our servicemembers and veterans an enormous debt of gratitude, one that can never be repaid, but we can start by ensuring that they have access to all the health care, resources, and benefits they have earned.” Just this week, President Biden signed into law the Vet Center Improvement Act as part of the annual defense spending package for Fiscal Year 2023. This legislation, led Congressman Cicilline and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) will improve services and performance standards at Vet Centers nationwide. While in Kuwait, Congressman Cicilline met with Rhode Islanders stationed at Camp Arifjan:

  • Keith Curran
  • Chris Gardiner
  • Julio Velasco

The delegation will spend the next few days visiting additional countries in the region. The locations of those visits are being withheld for security purposes. Joining the Congressman are:

  • Representative Joe Wilson, House Foreign Affairs Committee, (R-SC)
  • Representative Susan Wild, House Foreign Affairs Committee, (D-PA)
  • Representative Kat Cammack, House Homeland Security Committee, (R-FL)
  • Representative Sara Jacobs, House Foreign Affairs Committee, (D-CA)
  • Representative Amata Coleman Radewagen, House Veterans Affairs Committee, (R-American Samoa)

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