Home / News / Mrvan highlights local projects in House bill – Chicago Tribune

Mrvan highlights local projects in House bill – Chicago Tribune


From sewer and road investments to upgrading law enforcement equipment, the House on Friday approved a slew of local projects in the final version of the Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations measure, U.S. Rep. Frank J. Mrvan, D-Highland, announced.

The bill is expected to be approved by the Senate soon and signed by President Joe Biden.

“I thank all of my colleagues and their leaders on the House Appropriations Committee for including these valuable and beneficial projects that will improve the quality of life in Northwest Indiana,” Mrvan said in a statement. “I appreciate that these federal dollars will continue to grow our Northwest Indiana economy by improving operations at the Gary/Chicago International Airport and the Port of Michigan City and supporting sewer and road projects in the Cities of La Porte, Portage and Valparaiso. We must also continue to support our dedicated law enforcement members and I want to emphasize that this legislation provides direct funding to police departments in Gary, Hammond, Merrillville, Michigan City, and Munster as we begin work to evaluate measures for Fiscal Year 2025 to continue bringing taxpayer dollars back to Northwest Indiana to benefit everyone in our communities “I look forward to collaborating with all stakeholders in Northwest Indiana and my colleagues in Congress.”

The three largest recipients of federal funding are the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority, which will receive $4.1 million to help build and expand the heavy cargo logistics apron; the Port of Michigan City, which will receive $2.5 million to assist with operations and maintenance; and Calumet Area Environmental Infrastructure will receive $2 million to help improve the Lake and Porter communities’ critical water, sanitary sewer and stormwater sewer infrastructure in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In July, Dan Vicari, general manager of Gary/Chicago International Airport, said airport officials were excited about the potential for further growth with the injection of federal funds.

“I think (Mrvan) likes that we are an economic engine and have a really strong local recruiting component. The airport authority itself employs more than 40 people; More than 400 people currently work in various roles across various businesses at the airport.

“Thinking about what that number could be if we haul more cargo and get a (passenger) airline to make it a hub. There are so many possibilities,” Vicari said at the time.

The funding will be used to increase cargo capacity in the first phase of a long-term expansion project as services such as UPS continue to come and grow at the airport. UPS currently operates at the passenger terminal. Part of the project to which the funds will be directed includes providing new facilities for UPS and increasing its growth capabilities. The work will also bring more final cargo handlers to the airport.

In Portage, the Burns Waterway Small Boat Harbor will receive $998,000 to assist with operations and maintenance, and the city will receive $500,000 to remediate inadequate safety conditions and deteriorating infrastructure as part of the Central Avenue Reconstruction Project.

Five local police departments will receive funding to help with technology and equipment upgrades. Merrillville will receive $963,000 to help purchase communications equipment as part of the town’s Radio Replacement Project; Hammond will receive $350,000 to develop the video surveillance/license plate reader system; Gary plans to use $264,000 to purchase fixed license plate reader camera devices and mobile trailer units; Munster will receive $215,000 to upgrade its equipment; and Michigan City will use $180,000 to purchase license plate readers.

Hammond’s Challenger Learning Center in Northwest Indiana, Inc. will receive $963,000 to purchase and install a new Mission Control Simulator, and Michigan City will complete the Fedder’s Alley All-Inclusive Playground and Fitness Park project, both physical and exclusion It will receive $1 million to improve it by removing barriers and is social and provides a sensory-rich experience for everyone.

The City of Valparaiso will receive $959,752 to address combined sewers through sewer separation projects as part of the city’s Stormwater Quality and Detention Project, and the City of La Porte will receive $959,752 to replace combined sewers with new separate sanitary and storm sewer facilities and a storm sewer extension.

Carrie Napoleon contributed.


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