U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today revealed that Western New York will receive nearly $14 million in funding from the soon-to-pass omnibus end-of-year spending package for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 for critical local projects.
“From bolstering our facilities at the Niagara Air Base, to combatting food insecurity through organizations like FeedMore WNY to building up infrastructure on Main Street to helping area residents get the skills they need for good-paying jobs, this federal funding will help address many of the core issues facing Buffalo and Western New York communities,” said Senator Schumer. “I am proud to deliver this $14 million boost for community-driven projects across WNY. I will always fight to bring home federal dollars to give Western NY the support it needs.”
“This is a critical investment that will help revitalize Western New York,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Today, we are committing to putting millions toward fighting hunger, upgrading infrastructure, and promoting economic development. I’m proud to have fought to secure this funding and I’ll continue to work tirelessly to make sure Western New York’s families, workers, and businesses have what they need to thrive.”
The senators personally secured funding for these projects as congressionally directed spending requests and said that these projects include:
$2,000,000 for FeedMore WNY for a Facility Expansion:
This funding will cover planning costs for a large-scale expansion that is expected to more than double the current capacity and office space allowing for FeedMore WNY to significantly bolster their operations, boost productivity, and improve logistics, all with a focus on helping to better combat hunger in Western NY. In 2021, FeedMore WNY distributed enough food to provide 12.8 million meals to Western New York neighbors in need.
$2,800,000 for the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (ARS) for Combined Operations Alert Facility:
This funding will cover design costs for planning and design money for a joint operations facility, consolidating several major functions at the Niagara Falls International Airport. The existing 914 presence is geographically spread across Niagara ARS in several buildings, none of which are located on the flightline. Being spread across multiple facilities and with no significant access to the flightline hampers command and control, makes coordinated training more difficult and less efficient. This project will help boost response times by consolidating operation into the new combined operations alert facility.
$2,000,000 for University at Buffalo for Smart Public Transportation Infrastructure in the City of Buffalo:
This funding will build smart transportation infrastructure along Main Street in the City of Buffalo and around the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC). The infrastructure will be used to develop and test an accessible, self-driving shuttle (SDS) that utilizes AI-powered, open-source autonomous driving software to improve mobility and accessibility, especially for underserved populations, people with disabilities, and the elderly.
$2,000,000 for Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center for Precise Diagnostic Technology:
This funding will allow for implementation of a new, more advanced radiation treatment technique called Adaptive Radiation Therapy. Adaptive Radiation Therapy is a form of radiation treatment that allows even greater precision by reassessing the status of the tumor daily and adjusting the treatment plan to maximize effectiveness for cancer treatment.
$1,500,000 for Preservation of the First Presbyterian Church in Allentown, Buffalo for Preservation, Restoration Measures:
This funding will cover major repairs on a Buffalo building, which is a contributing element of the Allentown Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, that has unfortunately begun to severely deteriorate due to weather and age. Specifically, the project will help replace the slate roof on the building’s east side and perform other repairs to maintain the integrity of the building’s exterior envelope, repair roof tiles on the stone tower, and other essential renovations to ensure this building can continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.
$1,400,000 for Niagara University to boost the Academic Innovation Hub in Downtown Niagara Falls:
This funding will help complete the Academic Innovation Hub in downtown Niagara Falls. The Hub will function as a community education space and will provide residents with opportunities to attend speaker events, concerts, art shows, and community meetings. In addition, it will also help strengthen local workforce development opportunities, childhood education, and other education programming so underserved residents can gain industry-recognized credentials to secure jobs and advance their careers.
$900,000 for Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority for Niagara Falls International Airport Renovations:
This funding will complete design work required to bring the realignment and extension of Taxiway D to construction. The project will support and align with a Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station project to extend the main runway at Niagara Falls International Airport.
$750,000 Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society for Expansion Project:
This funding will cover costs for a 33,000 square foot addition to the Botanical Gardens’ historic 121-year old Conservatory to expand their education, exhibition, grow houses, and event spaces which are currently at capacity. Federal funds will support the capital costs of the expansion, helping to increase the Botanical Gardens’ service to the community, improve safety and accessibility for visitors, and boosting the economic impact for the region.
$440,000 for Town of Pomfret to Construct a New Town Hall:
This funding will allow for the purchase and renovation of an existing vacant building to serve as a new Town Hall which will help address the current lack of appropriate space for all of the Town’s functions.
$250,000 for University at Buffalo for Renewable Hydrogen Research and Development:
This funding will build U.S. research and development capacity, speed the investment in and deployment of hydrogen-related industries in upstate New York, seed three new university-industry collaborations, and advance the readiness of three hydrogen-based technologies. Development and infrastructure investments in hydrogen feedstock, production, and end-users will improve U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace and provide export customers for hydrogen and its downstream products.