Local funding included in House-passed appropriations bill
U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, announced Thursday that he secured $11.9 million for Central Coast projects in the fiscal year 2022 appropriations bills.
The legislation passed in the House and is going forward to the Senate.
According to the congressman’s office, the bills fund 24th Congressional District projects such as those designed to protect the water supply, make housing more affordable and update community buildings to be more resilient and accessible for people with disabilities.
“I am proud to have secured over $11 million for local projects that will make our community safer and stronger,” Rep. Carbajal said in his news release. “With these funds, we will be able to make long overdue improvements to community centers, create more affordable housing units for families and protect our water supply.
“These projects will go a long way toward improving quality of life on the Central Coast, and I will continue fighting for our district as the spending bill progresses through the Senate,” he said.
The projects include:
— $3 million for the Goleta Valley Community Center.
This project would help the city reopen the center, which has been partially closed since January because of a critical need for seismic upgrades.
The improvements include but are not limited to accessible entrances, accessible routes to the improved areas, accessible restrooms, telephones and drinking fountains.
The 2013 ADA evaluation found several areas of needed improvements. The city will work to complete these improvements, which include but are not limited to making all areas of the building ADA-compliant, according to Rep. Carbajal’s office.
The center has between 90,000 to 120,000 visitors each year, including an average of 250 seniors participating in programs at the Goleta Valley Senior Center. More than 90 nonprofits and more than 50 commercial establishments use the facility on a monthly basis.
“The $3 million for the Goleta Community Center is critical to allowing the community center to continue to provide wonderful services to Goleta in an upgraded, resilient, and safe facility,” said Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte in the news release. “We truly appreciate this funding that will enable us to fully reopen this ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of Goleta much sooner than otherwise possible.”
— $1.3 million for Santa Barbara County’s Veterans Building.
The Santa Barbara Veterans Memorial Building is owned by Santa Barbara County and serves veterans, nonprofits and other residents. The requested funding for the Cabrillo Boulevard facility is for health and safety improvements, varying from seismic retrofitting to work on electrical and energy systems and equipment, as well as window upgrades.
“I’d like to thank and acknowledge Congressman Carbajal for his continued advocacy for our local veterans and the community,” 2nd District Supervisor Gregg Hart said in a statement.
— $1.7 million for enhancements at Leroy Park in Guadalupe. Improvements would include more barbecue and picnic areas, an exercise area and an amphitheater.
“For the community of Guadalupe, LeRoy Park and Community Center has been a park, community center, Boys and Girls Club, a place for family picnics, for community events, and a meeting place for over a 100 years,” said Tom Brandeberry, CEO of Los Amigos de Guadalupe. “These funds help finish the project and allow for LeRoy Park and Community Center to be back to its best, if not better!”
— $900,000 for Santa Barbara County/Lompoc Health Clinic.
The project includes the connections of two separate structures of the Lompoc Health Clinic campus (the Wellness Center and Primary Care) to create additional capacity for the clinic, improve patient flow and overall experience.
The funding also would cover a generator to support the information technology infrastructure and facility resilience in the event of outages will be procured.
The clinic is part of the Santa Barbara County Health Care System.
“The Lompoc clinic is the flagship Federally Qualified Health Care Clinic within the County of Santa Barbara Health Care System, serving 7,410 individuals in 2020 with over 34,000 patient visits annually. Support from the appropriations bill for Community Project Funding will allow for facility expansion, providing greater access to our high quality healthcare and will further enhance the overall client experience,” said Dr. Van Do-Reynoso, the Santa Barbara County public health director.
— $112,340 for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Wastewater Treatment Plant.
This project would support the initial engineering analysis required to implement the preferred alternative to expand the wastewater treatment plant to serve the town of Santa Ynez. Once the analysis is complete, the project is expected to be funded through a partnership between the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and the Santa Ynez Community Services District, which provides wastewater services to the town of Santa Ynez today.
“Achieving this funding would allow us to bolster our already successful wastewater treatment plant on our reservation and give us an opportunity to expand the use of recycled wastewater to the surrounding community. Decreasing groundwater pumping and recharging our groundwater basin would be a significant benefit to all residents in Santa Ynez,” said Kenneth Kahn, tribal chairman for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.
— $2.5 million to the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara.
The money would be used to build the Escalante Meadows Community Center in Guadalupe.
“The Escalante Meadows Community Center will be open to all residents of Guadalupe, in addition to the new residents of the affordable housing development,” said Bob Havlicek, executive director of the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara.“The Community Center features early childhood education and wellness services that help meet the unserved needs of City residents. This funding is a critical piece that will help make this community asset become a reality.”