Oregon's U.S. senators have announced that $4.5 million in economic development and infrastructure dollars passed the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Republican Gordon Smith and Democrat Ron Wyden say this appropriation would include funds for improvements in the Columbia River Estuary and Tillamook Bay.

Oregon would share in $19.5 million for the National Estuary Program. The program was established by Congress in 1987 to improve the quality of estuaries of national importance, including the Lower Columbia River Estuary and the Tillamook Bay Estuary.

Other funds would go to the Portland Development Commission for redevelopment work in the North Macadam area ($1.6 million); the city of Portland would get money to extend streetcar service ($200,000) and to clean up the Willamette River ($500,000); Oregon Museum of Science and Industry would get $1 million to extend space science distance learning programs to rural parts of the state; Irrigon would get $500,000 to upgrade its water system; and Umatilla Community Recreation Center would get funds to build two soccer fields and other facilities ($50,000).

The money is attached to the Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and Independent Agencies spending bill, which still must pass the full Senate.


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