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FY2023

Member Designated Community Project Requests - FY2023

U.S. Representative Steve Womack submitted the following FY2023 Community Project Funding Member requests to the House Committee on Appropriations in April 2022:

Click each project name to download the Member certification form for each project.

Project Name: NWACC CDL Training Program
Request Amount: $353,650
Intended Recipient: Northwest Arkansas Community College
Address of the Intended Recipient: 1 College Drive, Bentonville, AR, 72712
Project Description: This investment will meet industry skills gaps training in commercial drivers licensing (CDL) preparation for new and entry-level drivers in Arkansas’s Third District and across the region. Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) started this program with a Regional Workforce Grant that funded simulation equipment and initial curriculum development. This project will fund the equipment and initial personnel costs necessary to get the full licensing program off the ground and, within a year, to a self-sustaining model that will train hundreds of critically needed drivers. NWACC workforce offices have identified a need for continuing education training, which the program will be able to provide with this equipment and personnel.

Project Name: ATU Agricultural Learning Laboratory Enhancement
Request Amount: $725,955.25
Intended Recipient: Arkansas Tech University
Address of the Intended Recipient: 215 West O St. Russellville, Arkansas 72801
Explanation of Request: The Arkansas Tech University (ATU) Agricultural Learning Laboratories Enhancement would support ATU’s agricultural education programs, specifically by investing in modern equipment and technology to update existing teaching laboratories. ATU’s agricultural education student pathways currently include a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Business with emphases in Animal Science, Horticulture, and Pre-Veterinary Medicine. This investment will enhance ATU agricultural students' experience by introducing state-of-the-art equipment and technology to prepare students to compete in our state’s leading industry. For agricultural education (agricultural mechanics), the laboratories enhancement will include updated metal fabrication equipment including four multi-process welders, virtual and augmented reality welding systems, a small gasoline engine instructional kit, ten solar and wind power instructional kits, skid steer, and a compact excavator among other needs. The animal science and horticulture laboratories enhancement will include, among other needs, a weather station, a compound microscope, a SMART Board for teaching, a cattle water intake system, a portable cattle corral system, and a portable photosynthesis system. These laboratory enhancements are critical for agriculture education courses (Agricultural Education, Animal Science, and Horticulture) due to the rapidly evolving agriculture industry in the state. Furthermore, the technological advancements in the agriculture industry have clearly shown the necessity of a highly skilled agriculture workforce to meet the food, fiber, and natural resource demands of Arkansas citizens.

Project Name: Technology Saving Arkansans
Request Amount: $137,272.88
Intended Recipient: Twelfth Judicial District of Arkansas
Address of the Intended Recipient: 901 South B Street, Suite 209, Fort Smith, Arkansas 72901
Explanation of Request: The Twelfth Judicial District Drug Task Force is tasked with investigating and dismantling illegal narcotics violators in multiple counties in Arkansas, responsible for a total population of just under 200,000. This request supports the Task Force’s prioritization of officer and civilian safety and enables the Task Force to combat the dangerous rise in narcotics trafficking and overdose deaths being experienced across the nation. This project will allow the Task Force to purchase several narcotic detection and analysis devices, as well as life-saving emergency response medical equipment. It will also fund the purchase of enough personal protective gear to fully equip each Task Force vehicle team. The equipment will fill the Task Force’s need to continue to provide crucial counter-narcotics capabilities for the people of the Twelfth Judicial District in a safe and sustainable manner. The Task Force is supported by five local law enforcement departments and their leadership has made a strong commitment to the Task Force through joint investigations, combined manpower, and collaborative community policing that this project will continue to reinforce.

Project Name: Future XNA Access Road
Request Amount: $7,000,000
Intended Recipient: Arkansas Department of Transportation
Address of the Intended Recipient: 10324 Interstate 30 Little Rock, Arkansas 72209
Explanation of the request: This request supports planning, detailed design, and construction of the future XNA Access Road. This new access road will provide for safe, reliable, and efficient movement of air transportation passengers and property between Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) and the Springdale Northern Bypass (AR Hwy. 612) to the south. The project is a fully controlled access highway of approximately 3.4 miles with a new, grade-separated trumpet-type interchange at Highway 612. This project is on the Arkansas Statewide Transportation Improvement Program and is project number 090069. The total estimated project cost, including preliminary engineering, right of way, utilities relocation, and construction engineering is $100 million. Of that cost, $80 million is for construction costs. The new access road will fill the need for a south-to-north highway access road that XNA and the Metropolitan Statistical Area currently lacks. The Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Statistical Area has approximately 560,700 residents with approximately 246,392 residents living south and west of XNA (residents of Washington County and Madison County, Arkansas) who would directly benefit from this airport access road. The State of Arkansas and its citizens have made a strong commitment to this project through the 2020 extension of the statewide 1/2 cent sales tax in perpetuity.

Project Name: Industrial Park Drive and Marla Lane Road Resurfacing
Request Amount: $4,000,000
Intended Recipient: City of Mulberry
Address of the Intended Recipient: 207 North Main Street Mulberry, Arkansas 72947
Explanation of the request: This project will resurface the City of Mulberry's Industrial Park Drive and Marla Lane in the Mulberry Industrial Park with concrete to support increased semi-truck traffic. The project includes erosion control, earthworks, storm drainage, base levels, paving, and signage for both Industrial Park Drive and Marla Lane. The city has received an engineer’s design and construction cost opinion that estimates the total project cost at $5,165,456.99 which includes a 30% cost contingency. The City has committed to completing the project should the Community Project Funding request not cover the cost of construction. Resurfacing the Industrial Park roads with concrete will allow increased heavy truck traffic at Mulberry’s largest concentration of commerce. The Industrial Park is located less than a mile from I-40 and houses many of Mulberry, Arkansas’s largest businesses including two trucking companies, an industrial gas supplier, an industrial powder coating company, the largest producer of archery targets in the world, a gate manufacturing company, and the processing facilities for the only dedicated grower and processor of edamame in America. Furthermore, the industrial park recently broke ground on a $23 million cold storage facility.

Project Name: Mill Branch Park Expansion
Request Amount: $880,000
Intended Recipient: City of Goshen
Address of the Intended Recipient: 124 N. Church Street Goshen, Arkansas 72735
Explanation of the request: This will fund additional land acquisition for the City of Goshen’s Mill Branch Park Expansion project. The funding would purchase slightly more than 74 acres of land to expand Mill Branch Park. The planned expansion includes a wildlife observation platform, stargazing platform, hard surface paths for walking and biking, along with a disc golf course and basketball courts. Expanding Mill Branch Park will provide the citizens of Goshen and the surrounding areas in Washington County, Arkansas with an outdoor recreation park. Currently, the citizens of Goshen must travel up to 10 miles to find a park for outdoor recreation. The City of Goshen is funding the non-land acquisition portions of the project through a recently passed sales tax increase and they have already spent approximately $400,000 on the park. The City has also partnered with the Beaver Watershed Alliance (a local non-profit focused on water quality in the Beaver Lake Watershed) to develop a comprehensive environmental management plan for the park as Mill Branch, a tributary of the White River, runs through the park. The Park will provide local residents educational and natural learning opportunities.

Project Name: XNA Temporary Control Tower Replacement
Request Amount: $7,000,000
Intended Recipient: Northwest Arkansas National Airport
Address of the Intended Recipient: One Airport Blvd., Suite 100 Bentonville, Arkansas 72713
Explanation of the request: This project will replace the existing air traffic control tower (ATCT) at Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA). The ATCT at XNA is a temporary tower constructed in 1998 as one of the last components of the airport project. Funding and timing issues forced XNA to build the ATCT as a temporary facility and the current facility presents safety and aviation control issues that XNA must work around. The project will construct a new ATCT that will meet FAA requirements and have room for expected growth. The total project cost is estimated to be $12.5 million. The existing ATCT has no fire control system, no fire rated walls, lacks ADA accessibility, and lacks adequate space for vital equipment. Currently, much of the FAA required equipment is kept in a CONEX at the base of the ATCT and the manager’s office as well as the staff breakroom are in modular units near the base of the tower. More importantly, the current ATCT has a cab height of 47’ which is inadequate to need due to the 2012 addition of Runway 17/35 which was built to provide an alternate landing area while the main runway (RW 16/34) was undergoing renovation and will ultimately serve as a parallel runway. Furthermore, a third runway is expected to be built east of the terminal building (other side of the building from the current runways). To be FAA-compliant and meet expected future needs the new ATCT will have a cab height of 124’. For 2019, XNA ranked as the 99th busiest airport in the U.S. with 1,846,374 passengers arriving and departing from the airport. No federal or FAA funds were used to construct the current/original ATCT. The airport has committed to funding the remainder of the project with airport funds.

Project Name: City of Yellville’s Wastewater Collection and Treatment Improvements
Request Amount: $2,160,000
Intended Recipient: City of Yellville
Address of Intended Recipient: P.O. Box 47 Yellville, Arkansas 72687.
Explanation of Request: The City of Yellville’s existing sanitary sewer collection system is in poor condition. During the approximate period from January 1, 2019, to April 30, 2021, the City of Yellville reported seventy-two (72) significant Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) in its sanitary sewer collection system. The reoccurring SSOs have and will continue to negatively impact the lives of the residents of Yellville. The manholes at four of these locations are on streets in residential or commercial areas. Additionally, if the issues go untreated, the sewage could reach the nearby bodies of water, greatly affecting the water quality and halting the recreation activities that residents enjoy. The proximity of the SSOs to people’s homes, workplaces, and recreation areas could have detrimental effects on public health, stunt population growth, and harm the economy of the City of Yellville and surrounding areas. The project will fund the improvements necessary to correct the issues including the replacement of damaged clay pipe with PVC sewer main and fourteen manholes. Improvements to the lift stations on US Highway 62 and Arkansas Highway 14 would include the construction of an equalization basin at the former lift station, installation of generators, and other general improvements. Similarly, improvements to the existing wastewater treatment plant would include construction of an anoxic basin, a new lift station, and improvements to the aeration system.

Project Name: Northwest Technical Institute’s Allied Health Facility
Request Amount: $2,000,000
Intended Recipient: Northwest Technical Institute
Address of Intended Recipient: 709 S Old Missouri Rd. Springdale, Arkansas 72764
Explanation of Request: The Northwest Technical Institute Allied Health Facility (NWTI) will expand the school’s already-successful medical support professionals program. This project will fund an approximate 50,000 square foot medical training facility with classrooms and simulation labs. NWTI is the only school in Northwest Arkansas that offers programs in Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN), Surgical Technology, and Sterile Processing. Additionally, the school offers Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in both high school and post-secondary programs. Currently, class sizes and program offerings are limited by classroom and lab space. This expansion will allow for more graduates in current programs and new program offerings. Increasing the number of graduates will meet the growing need of the rapidly expanding Northwest Arkansas medical community. NWTI’s current program graduates an approximate 100 medical Career Technology Education workers annually. The new Allied Health Facility, once complete, is expected to increase that number to 300 graduates prepared to enter the medical workforce.

Project Name: Arkansas Venture Expansion Project
Request Amount: $1,000,000
Intended Recipient: Community Venture Foundation, dba Startup Junkie Foundation
Address of the Intended Recipient: 1 E Center St. Suite 270, Fayetteville, AR 72701
Explanation of the request: Arkansas Venture Expansion Project (AVEP) is a group of four programs designed to stimulate economic vitality and boost resiliency within Arkansas' entrepreneurial ecosystem. The programs include: Fuel Accelerator Program, which has already completed three successful accelerator rounds that have brought tech talent in AI and machine learning to the state. Funds would be used to expand the program into the health care and cyber security fields. EMPOWER Program, which is a newly launched accelerator program for women in STEM. The funding would go towards promoting the program. Capital Access Event Expansion, which will go towards providing capital access to founders in need of early-stage seed funding, a huge hurdle for women and minority startups. The nonprofit will host pitch and business plan competitions and educational opportunities, along with events designed to educate potential investors. Marketing and Resource Expansion, which will increase the nonprofit's marketing efforts to reach more small business owners in need of assistance. The funding would also go towards creating an evergreen portfolio of resources for small business owners and startup founders to utilize free of charge.

Project Name: Berryville Public Library
Request Amount: $1,000,000
Intended Recipient: Friends of Berryville Library, Inc
Address of the Intended Recipient: 104 Spring Street, Berryville, AR  72616
Explanation of the request: This project would support the building of a new public library facility in Berryville, Arkansas. The Berryville Library is a regional hub serving citizens in several rural counties across northwest Arkansas and southern Missouri. By engaging all sectors of society and connecting everyone with educational programs, employment assistance, and e-resources that are not available anywhere else nearby, the library is a key part of uplifting individuals and building a stronger, more resilient, digitally connected, and economically empowered rural community. The Friends of the Berryville Library, Inc., a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, launched a $2.5 million capital campaign to build a new 10,000-square-foot building on land donated for this purpose by the City of Berryville. With strong support from local businesses, individuals, and families, the Friends are well on their way to meeting this goal, an unprecedented private fundraising goal for a community its size. This additional investment will allow the project to proceed on schedule, despite the soaring costs of construction in a pandemic-afflicted economy.

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