This week, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., announced that all 15 of the top priorities in Tampa and Hillsborough Counties that she submitted for consideration to the U.S. House Appropriations Committee are one step closer to being fully funded in the FY23 budget.
Castor is advocating for 15 Tampa Bay area projects based upon community support and pressing local needs – from skilled trades training to cancer screenings to initiatives to cut costs for neighbors and nonprofits. In FY22, Castor secured nearly $10 million in funding for community priorities.
“Some of the most important and ambitious initiatives to support our neighbors and keep Tampa’s economic engines on the cutting edge of innovation are one step closer to receiving funding. This is fantastic news for our community in Tampa and across the United States who will benefit from workforce development, climate mitigation, affordable housing improvements, increased educational opportunities and medical research that will be done right here in Florida’s 14th District. Know that I’ll continue to advocate on behalf of these projects as they continue on their route towards President Biden’s desk,” said Castor.
Additional information on Community Project Funding and the 15 community funding projects selected by Castor, as well as copies of the required financial disclosures, is available HERE.
While these 15 projects have been submitted to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration, this does not guarantee funding for the project. The next step is for the full House to consider this legislation and then it will ultimately go through conference negotiations with the Senate before it is signed into law. This process will likely take months, with the earliest final consideration of appropriations bills taking place in late fall.
Listed below are the fifteen community priority projects Congresswoman Castor has submitted for consideration to the House Appropriations Committee. Projects are listed in alphabetical order:
African American Arts and Cultural Center – Hillsborough County
This project would provide funding for professional services and pre-construction activities for the new African American Arts and Cultural Center in West Tampa—a multidisciplinary space for arts experiences, educational enhancement, and community engagement that will further economic development in the area.
Committee approved amount: $1,000,000
Palmetto Beach – Bermuda Boulevard Seawall Improvements – City of Tampa
This project would stabilize and improve the existing Palmetto Beach/Bermuda Boulevard seawall along McKay Bay to reduce risk to the surrounding working-class community, providing a long-term solution to reduce property damage and potential loss of life from flooding in the area.
Committee approved amount: $2,966,000
Building Tampa’s Tomorrow-Workforce Development Initiative –Hillsborough County Public Schools
This project would train students in a variety of medical and building construction professions to create a critical career pipeline to the highest-demand fields within Hillsborough County and provide opportunities for underrepresented youth to access high-skilled trade careers.
Committee approved amount: $1,000,000
Community Arts Education Initiative – Hillsborough County Public Schools
This project would develop a high-quality arts education program for students in underserved and struggling communities, enhance the student educational experience, and introduce students to potential career paths in the arts.
Committee approved amount: $1,986,353
Counseling and Wellness Centre – Centre for Women, Inc.
This project would expand behavioral health services and programming in the community and train the next cohort of mental health providers in the Tampa Bay area, building on existing relationships with local colleges and universities.
Committee approved amount: $1,205,394
Feeding Tampa Bay Solar/Wind Energy Efficiency Program – Feeding America Tampa Bay, Incorporated
This project would enhance energy efficiency and achieve sustainability for a new cold storage facility at an organization that services more than one million Floridians facing food insecurity, helping to save money and save food in our area.
Committee approved amount: $2,258,992
Functional Brain Imaging Core Research Center to Advance Prevention and Treatment of Brain Disease – University of South Florida
This project would bring the first functional MRI (fMRI) machine with full research capabilities to the Tampa Bay metro area, benefiting patients with clinical trials and advancing brain science research opportunities.
Committee approved amount: $1,000,000
HART Bus Stops Improvements Project – Hillsborough Transit Authority
This project would make improvements to approximately 285 bus stops in Hillsborough County to address equity, safety, and accessibility issues and bring them into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Committee approved amount: $5,000,000
Housing and Neighborhood Assessment Project – Hillsborough County
This project would improve the quality of life, increase economic opportunities, and increase property values for over 26,000 residents in Progress Village and Palm River that are faced with the safety hazards of living in densely populated areas that are dependent on septic.
Committee approved amount: $1,920,000
LatinTech Accelerator – Tampa Bay Wave, Inc.
This project would remove barriers for some of the most under-represented entrepreneurs, filling a critical gap in Tampa’s local startup ecosystem, and making a lasting impact on the regional economy.
Committee approved amount: $500,000
Mobile Lung Cancer Screening Program – H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute
This project would increase lung cancer screening rates among underserved and disadvantaged populations in Tampa through a fully mobile, electric lung cancer screening vehicle.
Committee approved amount: $2,350,000
Pre-Apprenticeship Training and Hiring Program (P.A.T.H.) – Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa, Inc.
This project would address the persistent skills gap in the Tampa Bay area through partnerships with local stakeholders to provide opportunities for underrepresented youth to access high-skilled trade careers and diversify the talent pipeline.
Committee approved amount: $1,862,625
Skills Center Collaborative – Skills Center, Inc.
This project would help with the completion of an opportunity center for low-income youth, with the goals of on-time grade promotion, high school graduation, and preparation for life after high school for every program participant.
Committee approved amount: $3,000,000
Vision Health and Research Center – Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research Foundation
The project would create a state-of-the-art treatment and research facility that will provide comprehensive, streamlined vision care and services, and research under one roof, building on an existing relationship with University of South Florida physicians.
Committee approved amount: $2,284,047
Water Facilities Hydroelectric & Solar Project – the City of Tampa
The project would provide for further clean hydroelectric power generation at the Hillsborough River Reservoir Dam and enhance energy recovery at the Water Department’s remote pump station.
Committee approved amount: $2,000,000
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