$1.5 trillion package includes $9.5 million for Santa Barbara County projects
President Joe Biden signed a massive $1.5 trillion spending package Tuesday to avert a partial government shutdown and provide nearly $14 billion in aid to Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.
The appropriations package also includes several million dollars in funding for Santa Barbara County projects and other nearby needs.
“With this bill, we’re going to send a message to the American people, a strong message,” President Biden said. “Democrats and Republicans (can) actually come together and get something done … and fulfill our most basic responsibility to keep the government open and running for the American people, serving American people and investing in their communities.”
The bill included more than $9.5 million in direct funding for Santa Barbara community projects, according to U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal’s office.
“I have, and always will, use my seat in Congress to work to deliver real results for Central Coast residents. I am proud to have secured over $17 million for local projects — including $9.5 million for Santa Barbara County — that will make our community safer and stronger,” Rep. Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, said in a statement.
“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,” he continued.
In the spending package, $3 million is included for needed improvements to the Goleta Valley Community Center, which has been partially closed since January 2021 because of safety risks.
The Goleta building needs seismic and ADA updates to make it safer for visitors. Located at 5679 Hollister Ave., the building was originally built in 1927 and has been used for meetings, classes, shelter and more.
Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said the city is “ecstatic” to receive the funding for the updates.
“This funding will be critical to allow the reopening of the auditorium and return the (community center) to a vibrant community hub,” Mayor Perotte said. “This treasured building can now be restored thanks to the efforts of Congressman Carbajal and his staff.”
Additionally, $1.3 million is earmarked for electrical, seismic and utility improvements to the Santa Barbara Veterans Memorial Building.
“These funds for seismic and safety upgrades for the Santa Barbara County Veterans’ Memorial Building will serve current and future generations and honor residents of Santa Barbara County, who as members of the United States Armed Forces, died in the service of their country in peace and in war,” said Supervisor Gregg Hart in a statement.
Guadalupe is set to receive $2.5 million for the construction of the Escalante Meadows Community Center, which will provide early childhood education and wellness services for lower-income residents, and $1.7 million for restorations to its LeRoy Park.
The LeRoy Park funding will install barbecue, exercise and picnic areas as well as an amphitheater.
Another $900,000 will be directed for improvements at the Lompoc Health Clinic and about $112,000 for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Waste Water Treatment Plant.
Other funding for nearby areas included $5.6 million to enhance public safety communications in San Luis Obispo County, $5.5 million for the dredging of Ventura Harbor and nearly $1 million for Ventura County to tackle the backlog of sexual assault cases, according to U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla’s office.
Overall, 11 Central Coast projects will receive funding totaling $20.1 million.
“I am proud to have secured funding for projects across California to improve our water quality and reliability, upgrade transportation infrastructure, support health care services, and make our communities safer,” Sen. Padilla, D-California, said in a statement. “This funding will go to local governments and community organizations that are directly serving our neighborhoods.”