Simpson Secures Funding for Idaho National Guard, Boise Airport, Habitat for Humanity, CEI, U of I, Shoshone Bannock Fire Station and Several Ag Projects including Dubois Sheep Station and Idaho Grain Center
Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson announced today that he has secured nearly $24 million in funding for 8 projects in Idaho’s Second Congressional District in various appropriations bills for fiscal year 2022. The projects are located in Idaho Falls, Fort Hall, Dubois, Hailey, and Boise.
“As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I believe I have a responsibility to balance two very important goals – the need to limit the growth of the federal government and the need to provide vitally important funding to deserving priorities in the State of Idaho,” said Congressman Mike Simpson. “The projects I have submitted for funding this year will have a range of critical benefits—whether it is better equipping our Idaho National Guardsmen, expanding workforce development programs, or increasing our affordable housing stock—these are worthy projects that may not have been eligible for federal funding but for the Community Project Funding (CPF) process.”
To ensure transparency and accountability, the House Appropriations Committee established several new rules that every project submitted for funding must follow. For a new CPF request to be considered, the following criteria must be met:
- Members must certify that they, their spouse, and their immediate family have no financial interest in the projects they request.
- Members must post every CPF request online simultaneously with their submission to the Committee on Appropriations.
- Members must provide evidence of community support that were compelling factors in their decision to select certain projects.
- Members are allowed a maximum of 10 CPF requests.
- No CPF grants can be directed towards for-profit grantees.
- Total CPF spending will be capped at 1 percent of discretionary spending.
“The reforms put in place by the Appropriations Committee will ensure the openness and transparency that is necessary so that every taxpayer has a chance to review and comment on projects funded through this process,” said Congressman Simpson. “I am grateful for the opportunity to have a more direct role in supporting the communities in my district rather than leaving funding decisions up to bureaucrats in the Biden Administration or letting the funds go to another congressional district. The positive impact of these projects will be felt by community members across Southeast Idaho, and I look forward to watching them come to fruition.”
The projects that were included in various FY22 Appropriations bills are as follows:
Project Name: Medical Training Facility
Project Location: Boise Air Terminal (Gowen Field), Idaho
Project Sponsor: 124th Fighter Wing, Idaho Air National Guard
Funding Amount: $6,500,000
Description: The 124th Fighter Wing, Idaho Air National Guard, requested $6,500,000 for the construction of a 10,550 square foot Medical Training Facility to provide administrative area, classrooms, laboratories, exam rooms, record storage, and mobility training storage for the 124th Medical Group. The project entails construction of a new building with site improvements to include pavements, utilities, communication support, as well as demolition of 3 sub-standard buildings/7,951 square feet on the site. This project will provide a facility that complies with patient privacy requirements and space authorized for military medical and training functions.
Project Name: Taxi-lane D Rehabilitation at Boise Airport
Project Location: Boise, ID
Project Sponsor: City of Boise
Funding Amount: $700,000
Description: The funding is designated to rehabilitate the portion of taxi-lane D that leads onto the air carrier apron. This is the main taxi route to the terminal for air carrier operations that supports air transportation to the community. Taxi-lane D pavement has deteriorated to the point that the pavement surface needs to be removed and replaced.
Project Name: Trade Up: Skilled Trades' Expansion, Advising, and Remediation at College of Eastern Idaho
Project Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Project Sponsor: College of Eastern Idaho
Funding Amount: $100,000
Description: CEI requests funding to strengthen workforce training programs in the fields of plumbing, welding, electrical and HVAC by equipping five classrooms for live teaching broadcast, hiring a one-year interim advisor to promote construction as entry to expansive college training or career, building badges in Skill Stack, inviting students to return for stackable credentials, shortening time to career, ensuring CEI’s programs are tailored to local employer needs, and creating a free & immediate remediation system to help any fourth-year student retake and pass the journeyman exam. Eastern Idaho is growing at a rapid rate, and employers are in desperate need of skilled workers. This project will help employers find the workers they need, as well as prepare Idahoans for stable, good paying jobs close to home. The project also has the potential to increase local wages and stabilize rural economies throughout the region.
Project Name: Shoshone Bannock Tribe Fire Station
Project Location: Fort Hall, ID
Project Sponsor: Shoshone Bannock Tribe
Funding Amount: $7,000,000
Description: The funding is designated to address the inadequate facility needs of the Fort Hall Fire Department and EMS operations. Current facilities rely on antiquated equipment, decrepit structures, failing infrastructure and poor location and access. The project will provide high quality essential services to protect the lives and property of Reservation residents, employees, and visitors, as well as the surrounding communities.
Project Name: U.S. Sheep Experiment Station (USSES) ARS Infrastructure Improvement
Project Location: Dubois, ID
Project Sponsor: Sheep Experiment Station
Funding Amount: $4,200,000
Description: The funding is designated to modernize a century- old critical research facility, the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station (USSES) and expansion of research-building capacity. The USSES is a USDA, Agriculture Research Service (ARS) unit near Dubois, Idaho. The USSES is an asset for grazing lands and sheep industry genetic research, and the repository of over five decades of sage grouse research. The century-old infrastructure is a limiting factor for the USSES to effectively accomplish its research agenda.
Project Name: Rinker Rock Creek Ranch
Project Location: Hailey, ID
Project Sponsor: University of Idaho
Funding Amount: $1,325,000
Description: The University of Idaho requested funding to designated establish University of Idaho education and research training at the Rinker Rock Creek Ranch field station by expanding curricula in rangeland management and animal science. The project sponsor for this project is the Regents of the University of Idaho located at 875 Perimeter Dr., Moscow, ID 83844 and the project is located near Hailey, Idaho. Funding will result in a) hands-on learning for public, postsecondary and K-12 education groups; b) scientific equipment and space for research demonstrations on livestock grazing and sage grouse management, cattle management and wildlife friendly fencing, water quantity and quality conservation, and techniques to combat invasive annual grasses and associated wildfire; and c) upgraded telecommunications systems to facilitate classroom connectivity and research training. The project will enhance workforce training in Idaho by providing opportunities for high school and community college students to pursue postsecondary education. It will also provide demonstration of best practices for integrating working rangelands with conservation interests in the western United States.
Project Name: Habitat’s Communities of Hope – Step up to Home Ownership
Project Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Project Sponsor: Habitat for Humanity Idaho Falls Area, Inc.
Funding Amount: $3,000,000
Description: The funding is designated to create a lasting stock of affordable homes for low- to moderate-income families, creating a path for home ownership no matter the family’s current financial circumstances. A variety of housing types – tiny, attached, and single-family - will be available. Families will build equity in all levels of home ownership. Families will meet financial and community service requirements. Mortgage payments will never exceed 30% of monthly income. If necessary, residents can provide sweat equity for partial mortgage payments. The property will remain in a land trust or cooperative ownership. Residents will pay small homeowner fees and be voting members of the HO association. To help families be successful homeowners, residents will be provided supportive services. Seven service providers and a shopping center are within one mile of a property identified as a desirable location for Habitat’s pilot Community of Hope project.
Project Name: Idaho Grain & Ag Center
Project Location: Boise, ID
Project Sponsor: Idaho Grain Producers Association
Funding Amount: $787,000
Description: The funding is designated for a conference room, shared workspace, and technology in a new building project, the Idaho Grain & Ag Center at 821 W. State Street. An updated Idaho Grain & Ag Center would provide critical services to Idaho’s agricultural industry, while offering innovative ways to engage with growers around the state. Entirely focused on Idaho agriculture, the building project would include a hub for research collaboration, a promotional component, sufficient meeting space to bring large groups together, and technology to connect with growers around the state and the nation. The Idaho Grain & Ag Center would not only link Idaho’s rural and urban communities, but also serve as a bridge to the future of Idaho agriculture. An updated Idaho Grain & Ag Center, which will sit adjacent to the Idaho Statehouse, will solidify the importance of agriculture to the state, be a model of innovative public-private partnerships, and serve all rural Idaho.
The funding for these projects is in addition to the nearly $17 million Congressman Simpson secured in surface transportation legislation that recently passed the House of Representatives, meaning Congressman Simpson has singlehandedly secured over $40 million for Idaho projects this year. Appropriations legislation is expected to be considered on the House floor at the end of July. For more information on the individual projects, visit Congressman Simpson’s website here.