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Great Lakes Article:

House bill includes funds for Finger Lakes
By Howie Mansfield
Finger Lakes Times

Rep. James Walsh, R-25 of Syracuse, and Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-24 of New Hartford, are seeking money for the Finger Lakes region in a spending bill expected to pass the House of Representatives Monday.

The Fiscal Year 2004 Omnibus Appropriations bill is also expected to pass a Senate vote in January.

Boehlert hopes to secure $2.7 million for the Grape Genetics Research Center and Laboratory at Cornell Universityís Agriculture & Food Technology Park in Geneva. The funding would help secure USDA scientists to work with Cornell scientists to establish and coordinate a national, concentrated grape research program.

A portion of the funds would be used to design and prepare a building to house the grape research center.

Walsh said the appropriations bill reflects his work to bring money to much needed areas of Wayne County. The appropriations bill includes more than $200,000 for projects at Newark-Wayne Community Hospital in Newark and $100,000 to Wayne County for a feasibility study at the former Newark Developmental Center in Newark.

Other projects earmarked by Walsh in the House spending plan include $80,000 to Wayne County for relocation and renovation improvements to the Leavenworth-Northrup Carriage House in Wolcott; $300,000 for demolition and new facilities construction and improvements at Sodus Point Park in Sodus; $500,000 to construct a new livestock building at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Palmyra; $250,000 for the development of a Sodus Bay comprehensive watershed management plan; $600,000 to the Water and Sewer Authority for construction of a waterline in the towns of Sodus and Huron; and $230,000 to the Water and Sewer Authority for sanitary sewer overflow improvements for the town of Palmyra. The Center for Environmental Information in Rochester also would receive $250,000 for a Lake Ontario coastline remediation and restoration initiative.

Boehlert said heís pleased $6.25 million was set aside for his district.

"The tremendous opportunity Iíve been given to serve this district for the last 21 years, also provides New York state the seniority in Washington needed to bring this funding home," Boehlert said. "Iím pleased to be able to bring funding for much needed projects and economic development back to the area. I particularly wish to commend Rep. James Walsh, my friend and colleague, for his efforts and partnership in these important economic development activities. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, deserves credit for his help with the Cornell and Tompkins County projects."

Boehlert also is seeking $750,000 for the Cayuga Lake Watershed to provide critical support for technical assistance and implementation of agriculture and non-agriculture best management practices, in addition to community outreach and education and $2 million to Cayuga Community College Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology for the creation of cutting-edge three- and four-dimensional, interactive digital images of contamination on military bases nationwide, including sites such as Seneca Army Depot.

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