New buses, gang prevention monies part of federal bill

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U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that there are millions of bucks for the Hudson Valley in the federal Omnibus bill for the likes energy efficient buses, youth groups, colleges and more.

But don’t count the money yet — the Senate still has to pass it, and then it goes to the House of Representatives before reaching the president for signature.

Here are details provided by Gillibrand’s office:

$150,000 for City of Mouth Vernon Youth Development Action Plan. There are as many as 4,500 gang members in the Hudson Valley. In an effort to combat the national issue of growing gang activity on a local level, the City of Mount Vernon has developed a new grass-roots project that would prevent our youth from committing gang activities, by providing alternate supervised activities and development opportunities that would keep the city’s youth engaged during evenings, weekends, and during the summer months when gang violence peaks. This legislation would provide $150,000 to the City of Mount Vernon for the implementation of this project, which would help put the city’s youth on a path to a better future and improve the overall quality of life for the residents of the City of Mount Vernon.

$2 million for Westchester County to replace standard 60-foot diesel buses with hybrid alternatives. This project would help replace the County’s 78 current buses with new fuel efficient hybrid buses. The diesel buses will become obsolete in 2014 and must be replaced, making it important to begin the switch to environmentally-friendly options now. Hybrid buses help attain regional air quality goals by reducing harmful emissions.

$500,000 for SUNY Orange for the creation of a Center for Science, Engineering and Technology. An effort to upgrade all Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) classes, and encourage more students to pursue STEM careers, SUNY Orange’s project would create a Center for Science, Engineering and Technology. This Center would integrate sustainability across the curriculum, and address a national directive to improve STEM learning. The project is estimated to create 125 construction jobs right away and the center will serve to open promising career options for as many as 7,000 students. The Center will integrate sustainability across the curriculum and quickly adapt to emerging and converging technologies. Furthermore, it will be responsive to the area workforce needs. This new project will employ approximately 125 people including designers, electricians, plumbers, HVAC and maintenance workers. In addition to this, the students enrolled in the program will continue on to join new and emerging fields in the labor market.

$250,000 for Rockland County Office Of Fire & Emergency Services, which would help update Rockland County’s 60 year old public safety communications’ infrastructure. These antiquated systems do not provide Rockland’s first responders with the necessary equipment to communicate with others within their own services or with other public safety agencies. Given the lessons of September 11, 2001, public safety agencies must have the ability to communicate across services in order to coordinate emergency responses and to ensure officer safety. The completion of this project will be another step in ensuring the national communications plan meets its deadline goals of interoperability as outlined in the National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP) published in 2008.

$205,000 to Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corp. for Regional Food and Sustainable Agribusiness System, which would develop a sustainable regional food packing, processing and distribution system. Specifically, this project would provide technical assistance and business development expertise, access to flexible processing facilities, logistics and energy technology to farms and agribusinesses. Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation would develop the project with a kitchen incubator at the Tech-City business incubator, allowing local farms access to a shared-use packing and processing operation and the solar industries cluster. Across the Hudson valley region, this program can help to create and support more than 125 jobs and leverage over $30 million in additional private and public investment capital. The food processing incubator proposed for the Hudson Valley Region would also play a critical role in supplying the food needs of the New York City metropolitan region.


$1.2 million for West Point Military Academy’s Diversity Recruiting and Retention
program. Over the past decade, West Point has struggled to reach its diversity class composition goals, specifically in the areas of African-Americans and Reserve and Active Component Soldiers. This project will help address this disparity amongst America’s elite officer corps. Federal funding is needed to sustain, build upon and further advance West Point, the Nation’s premiere leadership institution, in the critical realms of diversity and inclusion.

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