Larsen asks for for $195 million in earmarks

Congressman Rick Larsen is asking Congress to provide $195 million in federal funding for 2nd District priorities, selecting 51 of the 153 requests he received to pass on to the House Appropriations Committee.   

The earmarks Larsen asked Congress to fund reflect a range of local needs in all of the six counties he represents, including funding to invest in economic growth, local law enforcement and our national security.

This is the second year that Larsen has made his list of earmark requests public.  When Larsen released his appropriations requests last year, he went above and beyond House disclosure rules in a personal effort toward transparency for his constituents. This year, House ethics rules have followed Larsen’s voluntary efforts and now require all Members to post their requests for Fiscal Year 2010 online.

“This year, as in the past, my office received a large number of earmark requests from local constituents, communities and organizations – 153 in total,” said Larsen. “After careful consideration, the 51 requests I have decided to support reflect a range of local needs and would make important investments in Northwest Washington communities and our long-term economic growth.”

In reviewing community requests for earmarks, Larsen considered whether the project is a valuable use of taxpayer funds, if it meets 2nd District needs and priorities, if it is prepared to use federal funding effectively, and if it can be funded in an earmarked account.  The House Appropriations Committee will evaluate all the requests it receives to determine which merit funding.

“In the interest of transparency and accountability, I encourage my constituents to go online to to view my full list of funding requests,” said Larsen.

Larsen’s requests to the Appropriations Committee are listed below, organized by the bill in which they would be funded and listed alphabetically.  This list complies with House transparency rules by listing the name of the project, the entity that would receive funding, the address of the organization, and the project’s purpose.

Here is a partial list of earmarks Larsen is seeking in Skagit County:

Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative (NSMCI)
Northwest Straits Commission
10441 Bayview Edison Rd
Mount Vernon, WA

$2.7 million to restore and protect the northwest region of Puget Sound which supports marine species and habitats that contribute directly to the economic vitality of Washington state and the country through fisheries, tourism and recreation, marine transportation, and commerce.  Funding would support research, stewardship, and restoration efforts, and help remove derelict fishing nets from the marine waters of Puget Sound to protect commercially and ecologically valuable species, like salmon, rockfish, Dungeness crab, seabirds, and marine mammals.

Skagit River General Investigation Study
Seattle Corps of Engineers
4735 East Marginal Way South
Seattle, WA

$1.3 million for the Skagit General Investigation (GI) study to analyze various flood control projects in order to protect citizens and infrastructure impacted from a 100-year flood event of the Skagit River.  Over the past 15 years, the Skagit River has flooded nearly every other year at a cost of tens of millions of dollars. This funding request advances the GI study and will complete the Plan Formulation report including a levee analysis study, the development and analysis of alternatives through the preliminary design stage and draft NEPA documents.

Behavioral Health Center at Skagit Valley Hospital
Skagit Valley Hospital
1415 East Kincaid
Mount Vernon, WA

$750,000 to complete construction and purchase equipment for a new Behavioral Health Center at Skagit Valley Hospital to serve the acute mental health needs of the Skagit County community.  The current facility is not adequate to meet the local need for mental health care services and does not have the capacity to provide necessary treatment options.

Mount Vernon School District Life Safety Improvements
Mt. Vernon School District
124 East Lawrence Street
Mount Vernon, WA
$750,000 to protect kids in the case of a fire or natural disaster by installing fire sprinklers throughout the Mount Vernon High School gymnasium and bringing the school in compliance with seismic safety standards by making structural modifications to the walls and roof.

Anderson Laventure Extension Project
Skagit County
1800 Continental Place
Mount Vernon, WA

$2.5 million to construct a new arterial roadway connecting South Laventure Road, an existing north-south arterial in eastern Mount Vernon, to the Anderson Road freeway interchange.  This will ease congestion on Interstate-5 and provide an alternative route in the rapidly developing areas of eastern Mount Vernon.

Birdsey Minkler Civic Center
Town of Lyman
8405 S. Main Street
Lyman, WA

$500,000 to help the Town of Lyman acquire the historic Minkler Mansion and convert it to a town hall and community service delivery center, which provides services for low-income families including the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program, maternity support services, legal assistance, energy assistance, medical assistance, literacy support, and a teen clinic.

Chuckanut Park and Ride Facility
Skagit Transit
600 County Shop Lane
Burlington, WA

$3.2 million to construct the Chuckanut Park and Ride Facility, which will offer an additional 350 parking spaces and provide connections to three regional transit providers.  Currently all of Skagit Transit’s park and rides are being used to their maximum capacities and demand for more parking spaces is extremely high.