Congressman Zach Wamp said "critical transportation needs, education and economic development in Tennessee’s Third District" are supported in the Departments of Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development (T-THUD) funding legislation for Fiscal Year 2007 approved by U.S. House Appropriations Committee Tuesday evening.
The project of rehabilitating the 30-year-old tarmac of the Chattanooga Airport received $1 million in assistance. With a life span of 20 to 25 years, completing this key safety project as soon as possible is the airport authority’s top priority, Rep. Wamp said.
The legislation approved Tuesday also supported mass transit systems statewide with a $3 million allocation and an additional $2 million to the Chattanooga Area Regional Transit Authority‘s innovative downtown electric bus program.
The East Tennessee Nanotechnology Initiative in Oak Ridge is slated to receive $400,000 for a commercialization center "where entrepreneurs from around the nation can come to reap the benefits of Oak Ridge National Laboratories’ Spallation Neutron Source and supercomputing programs to discover new medicines, and lighter and stronger materials to help American businesses compete around the globe. This is one of our core missions in Oak Ridge and has been a responsibility of the federal government since the Manhattan Project era."
The Committee supported alternative energy research by allocating $1 million in the T-THUD bill to University of Tennessee’s Hydrogen Initiative to develop alternative energy and advanced transportation projects on its campuses in Chattanooga and Knoxville.
Rep. Wamp said, “Developing technology that helps American companies garner global trading contracts, improving our mass transit infrastructure and developing renewable energy will grow our economy and reducing our dependence on foreign oil will make us more secure. That is why I strongly advocated for these five priorities and I know they will pay off dividends far greater than the investments made today.”
The Treasury, Housing and Urban Development bill now moves from committee to the full House for approval.