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Merkley, Wyden Secure Funding for Critical Projects Across Eastern Oregon

State News Generic

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced they secured funding for essential community projects across Oregon in Congress’s fiscal year 2023 omnibus appropriations package, which is expected to pass both chambers of Congress and be signed into law by President Biden this week.  

With the support of members of Oregon’s congressional delegation in the House of Representatives—Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, and Kurt Schrader—a total of 145 community-initiated projects in Oregon were included in the package.   

Once law, these essential projects will receive the support needed to help meet critical needs in every corner of the state, including investing in wildfire and drought resiliency, affordable housing, health care, education, manufacturing, and much more, all while creating essential services and good-paying jobs.   

“No one knows the unique needs of communities across Oregon like the folks living and working in them,” said Merkley, who helped drive inclusion of Oregon projects as the only Oregon member of Congress from either chamber to serve on the Appropriations Committee since Senator Mark Hatfield. “I joined the Committee in 2013 to ensure Oregon has a strong voice in decisions about our nation’s investments. Community-initiated projects are an incredible example of this, because these local and regional projects were generated at the ground level by folks who are working to make their communities better. I worked with Senator Wyden and members of Oregon’s House delegation to secure funding for 145 of these important homegrown projects for Oregonians in every corner of our state, and these projects will have positive impacts across our state for years to come.”  

“These investments represent the best of the Oregon Way, namely that Oregonians in communities all across the state pulled together to determine their local quality-of-life solutions that will keep people safe and generate jobs that strengthen the economy,” Wyden said. “I’ve heard during more than 1,000 town halls in each of our 36 counties how Oregonians want federal investments just like these that reflect their grass-roots priorities. And I’m glad to have teamed up with them and Senator Merkley to produce these tangible and significant results.”  

Both Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden hold a town hall in each Oregon county every year and work hard to ensure that local feedback informs every aspect of their work in Washington, D.C. This local feedback is directly reflected in the projects that were chosen for federal funding in this year’s package.  

Because of Senator Merkley’s position on the powerful Appropriations Committee and key role in pushing Oregon priorities in the drafting of the bills, and the collaborative way that Senator Merkley and Wyden work together to advocate for projects from Oregon, last year the two Senators were able to secure more projects for their home state than any other Senators besides Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.  

The 145 Oregon community-initiated projects were spread out among bills produced by the Appropriations subcommittees, including 20 projects in the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, of which Senator Merkley is Chair.   

Listed below are the Eastern Oregon projects that received funding:

  • $6 million to Camp Umatilla for Housing Facilities Construction  
  • $3.5 million for the City of Burns for Water System Improvements  
  • $3 million for Owyhee Irrigation District for its Kingman Lateral Pipeline Project   
  • $3 million for Treasure Valley Community College for its Nursing & Allied Health Professions Center   
  • $2.82 million for City of Paisley for Water System Improvements   
  • $2 million for Union County Emergency Services for its Union County Radio System Upgrade Project   
  • $1.855 million for the Burns Paiute Tribe for its Burns Paiute Tribal Community Wellness Center Retrofit    
  • $1.7 million for Morrow County and Umatilla County to address Drinking Water Contamination of private wells 
  • $1.5 million for the City of Pendleton for its Highway 11/30 Housing Expansion project   
  • $1.25 million for Community Counseling Solutions for its Grant County Health Center   
  • $1 million for City of Irrigon for its Business Opportunity Incubator   
  • $940,000 for the Burns Paiute Tribe for the US Highway 20 Wildlife Connectivity Project   
  • $700,000 for facility improvements at the Pendleton Agricultural Research Service Station  
  • $602,000 for the City of Prairie City for Water Distribution System Improvements   
  • $515,000 for the La Grande School District for its Students Addressing Housing Shortage Through Home Construction Trade Skills Project   
  • $500,000 for Harney County Senior and Community Services for its High Desert Veterans Village   
  • $408,000 for facilities improvements at the Burns Agricultural Research Service Station   
  • $386,000 for the Winding Waters Medical Clinic for its Wallowa County Oregon Primary Care Clinic 
  • $299,000 for the Grant County Sheriff’s Office for Emergency Management Operations Center Modernization  
  • $250,000 for the Harney Watershed Council for Harney Basin Water Resource Planning Support  
  • $221,000 for Harney County for its Generator for Continuity of Operations Project   
  • $177,000 to Morrow County for the Primary Emergency Operations Center Generator Project   


Click HERE for quotes from Eastern Oregon community-initiated project recipients.  



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