I don't know if you can call it Pork Barrel but Ft. Meade is 5 or 6 miles from my home and maybe less than 2 miles from one of my rental properties. What housing slowdown?
BRAC funding goes to Meade roads, AACC - Top Stories - (HometownAnnapolis.com)
BRAC funding goes to Meade roads, AACC
By JOSHUA STEWART, Staff Writer
Published April 01, 2008
Traffic lights will be improved near Fort George G. Meade, and new equipment purchased for Anne Arundel Community College's radiology program, thanks to $5.7 million in federal funding.
The funds, unveiled yesterday by Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, will help the 2nd Congressional District maintain its current quality of life as thousands of jobs flood Fort George G. Meade and Aberdeen Proving Ground.
"My district is going to have more high-paying jobs coming than any other part of the country," Mr. Ruppersberger said.
The money will finance education and transportation programs throughout the state, the Baltimore County Democrat announced during a news conference at AACC.
County planners expect about 22,000 new jobs by 2014 at Fort Meade, the west county Army installation. About 5,700 of those jobs will come from the federal Base Realignment and Closure process, or BRAC, a nationwide consolidation of military bases. The fort is the state's largest employer with approximately 42,000 jobs.
The largest portion of the $5.7 million - $4.9 million - will be for transportation, including the Route 175 traffic lights. A total of $1.4 will go to construct and improve bus facilities in Maryland.
"We really need to get people out of cars and onto mass transit," Mr. Ruppersberger said.
Another $2.25 million was allocated for road improvements in Harford County around Aberdeen Proving Ground, and another $750,000 was reserved for lane increases, and interchange and bridge improvements on the Baltimore Beltway.
In Anne Arundel, the money will buy equipment for a radiology program at the community college and traffic-light improvements on Route 175.
A total of $500,000 provided through an omnibus bill - which combines several measures into one bill - will go to synchronize traffic lights on Route 175, a state road that borders and provides access to the post.
The State Highway Administration is considering several plans to improve a portion of Route 175 between the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 170. Options include leaving it "as is," or expanding it into a six-lane highway.
That expansion would cost an esti-mated $207 million plus the expenses of acquiring right of ways to improve the road, state officials said.
The federal money also includes $121,000 for new digital X-ray equipment for the radiology program at the Center for Health, Science and Homeland Security at the community college.
The device allows technicians to take digital pictures of bones and other internal tissues. These pictures look like regular film X-rays but can be stored and shared in an electronic database.
"We are grateful to the congressman because it will really take us out of the Dark Ages," said Claire Smith, dean of the community college School of Health Professions, Wellness and Physical Education.
Mr. Ruppersberger said that preparing a tech-savvy workforce is one of his biggest priorities when it comes to new jobs at Fort Meade, most of which are for civilians.
He is particularly interested in developing a school magnet program that will prepare students for jobs at the National Security Agency, an electronic intelligence-gathering agency based at the fort. He said he recently met with members of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, including Mr. Gates himself, to discuss creating this program as a pilot for other schools throughout the country.
In addition, County Executive John R. Leopold said that he is pushing for a "substantial investment" of federal funds to boost science, technology, engineering and math programs at the community college. He said details would be revealed in his upcoming budget.
Also among the funds will be $219,000 for recruiting and retaining students and faculty at Coppin State University's School of Nursing, Mr. Ruppersberger said. And there will be $268,000 for workforce development, BRAC and homeland security at Towson University.
In May, speaking before the Fort Meade Alliance, Mr. Ruppersberger said he and other members of the state's congressional delegation hope to secure a total of $74 million to build transportation, school and infrastructure systems to offset the impacts of BRAC.
That includes $25 million for road and rail improvements, $21 million for water and sewer systems and $28 million for infrastructure at military installations.
Yesterday's funding announcement is just a start, Mr. Ruppersberger said.