Today, Congressman Salud Carbajal announced that $16,651,540 in direct federal funding for community projects that benefit residents of Santa Barbara County is set to become law after passing both chambers of Congress this week.
Rep. Carbajal has been advocating for these federal funds since April 2022 and helped ensure they were included in the omnibus spending package crafted over the past six months and sent to President Biden’s desk by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier today.
The funds secured by Carbajal will help fund expanded U.S. Highway 101 carpool lanes and support upgrades to public spaces in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, and Santa Maria.
“As the Central Coast’s Representative, my first and foremost responsibility is to deliver real results for our communities and its residents – and today, I’m proud to do that again by delivering nearly $17 million for Santa Barbara County to support projects that will improve our quality of life,” said Rep. Carbajal. “With these funds, we will be able to make critical upgrades that will reduce traffic, renovate public spaces, and improve access to food and clean water across the Central Coast.”
Rep. Salud Carbajal specifically requested and pushed for funding for these and other Central Coast projects through the House Appropriations Committee.
In total, Rep. Carbajal secured $22,466,540 for 14 projects across all three counties that he represents in Congress.
The full list of projects secured for Santa Barbara County can be found below:
$7,000,000 to support the construction of one of the two remaining sections of carpool lane expansion on U.S. Highway 101 between Santa Barbara and Ventura. Once completed, these carpool sections will complete 30 continuous miles of three-lane traffic between Ventura and Goleta.
Construction of the remaining HOV lane sections is expected to begin in March 2023 and be completed by summer 2026.
“We are incredibly grateful to Congressman Carbajal for including $7 million of federal funds for the Highway 101: Montecito project in the congressional budget process,” said Marjie Kirn, executive director of Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG). “This much-needed funding is essential for the high-priority regional project. With these funds, we can look forward to seeing the reinvestment of tax-payer dollars go to safety and congestion relief that will have a significant positive impact on the economy, interregional bus service efficiencies and quality of life for countless residents and visitors alike across our community.”
$2,000,000 to help fund the acquisition and retrofit of a new building to serve as an upgrade location for the Orcutt Branch Library in Orcutt.
Unlike most library facilities in Santa Barbara County, which are owned outright, the Orcutt branch is reliant on a leased facility, and the current space is no longer adequate to serve the growing community.
“Funding for a permanent library and community center will greatly benefit the residents in and around Orcutt,” Santa Barbara County Supervisor Bob Nelson said. “It’s been a pleasure working with Congressman Carbajal throughout this process, and thanks to his advocacy, coupled with the work of library staff, supporters and residents, the largest unincorporated area in the County has made major strides in establishing an educational and constructive home for our families and youth.”
$1,500,000 to fund part of the total costs of the full-scale renovation of Dwight Murphy Field in Santa Barbara, including a brand new 36,000-square-foot playground.
Costs of the project, for which construction is expected to begin as early as summer 2023, are shared by the City of Santa Barbara, the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, and private donors.
“The City of Santa Barbara is tremendously grateful for Congressman Carbajal’s support for the revitalization of Dwight Murphy Field. The new amenities, including the multi-sport field, youth baseball and community green space, outdoor fitness gym, and inclusive playground, will bring vital upgrades to serve youth sports, recreation enthusiasts, neighborhood residents, and families from all over Santa Barbara. Gwendolyn’s playground, Santa Barbara’s first inclusive play space, will ensure that all children, regardless of ability, will be able to play together,” said Parks and Recreation Director Jill Zachary.
$1,500,000 to support the retrofitting of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s new south county warehouse in Goleta. Once completed, the warehouse will have the capacity to store more than 750,000 pounds of food. Retrofit construction on the facility is estimated to be completed in June 2023.
“The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, our staff, Trustees, supporters and volunteers are thrilled with this vital grant that will allow us to complete key elements of our new Sharehouse – comprising both a warehouse and an education center, which will allow us to bring significantly increased amounts of food and food literacy education across the whole of SB County,” Foodbank of Santa Barbara County CEO Erik Talkin shared. “Thanks so much to Representative Carbajal and his staff for working tirelessly to make this happen.”
$1,384,040 to help Santa Barbara County stabilize roughly 975 feet of railing roadway on San Marcos Road, a key fire suppression and emergency access road during closures of State Route 154. Funding will also help restore embankments and shoulders that are prone to landslides and other roadway failures.
“The County greatly appreciates Representative Carbajal’s leadership on this project, which will protect a vital transportation link between the Eastern Goleta Valley and State Route 154 and the Santa Ynez Valley beyond,” said Scott D. McGolpin, Director of the County of Santa Barbara Public Works Department. “Over the last twenty years, this roadway and slopes adjacent have been severely impacted by several storm-related disasters. These much-needed roadway improvements will not only protect access for those who use the road during detours of State Route 154, but also for the people who live in the area and rely on a safe roadway every day.”
$1,267,500 to fund renovations and upgrades for the City of Lompoc’s Pioneer Park, including the construction of a new playground and baseball fields.
Federal funds secured by Carbajal would cover roughly a third of the expected cost, with additional funds provided by the City of Lompoc and Community Development Block Grants.
“I want to thank Congressman Carbajal for investing in Lompoc with this funding for Pioneer Park,” said Lompoc Mayor Jenelle Osborne. “His support will make it possible for the City of Lompoc to move forward on a park long overdue for improvements. This park is located near a large number of apartment complexes, so it is the outdoor space used for a variety of purposes, from weekend barbecues to baseball games and birthday parties. Partnerships such as this with our federal officials make a real difference locally.”
$1,000,000 to support construction and equipment needs of Marian Regional Medical Center’s Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) Residency Program Clinic in Santa Maria.
The funds approved today cover part of the costs associated with the construction of a new 8,700-square-foot clinic for the OB-GYN clinic.
“Marian Regional Medical Center is tremendously grateful to Congressman Carbajal for prioritizing the health of the Santa Maria community and for advocating to secure funding for the hospital’s much-needed OB/GYN Residency Program Clinic,” said Sue Andersen, President & CEO of Marian Regional Medical Center. “Marian’s OB/GYN Residency Program has flourished over the past four years and the hospital is now at a crucial point where there is the need to expand and open a standalone OB/GYN Residency Program Clinic. This will allow Marian to expand its prenatal and postpartum care for the community’s underserved and medically-vulnerable OB/GYN patients.”
$500,000 to support the construction of the Santa Maria Japanese Community Center to honor the original Japanese settlers to the Santa Maria valley.
The 10,000-square-foot facility would feature memorabilia documenting the lives of the Issei first-generation immigrants, part of the 7-acre Smith-Enos History Farm House project supported by the City of Santa Maria and local community groups.
“We are excited about this additional funding for the future community center, which builds upon the $350,000 donation from the Santa Maria Japanese Community Center, and other funding. The structure and grounds will serve as a gathering spot for all cultures within our community, and honor the Issei generation and its contributions to the agricultural industry in the Santa Maria Valley,” Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino said.
$500,000 to help water districts reliant on Lake Cachuma to respond to record drought by supporting an emergency pumping facility project that is needed to allow Lake Cachuma’s water to continue supporting its surrounding regions.
Lake Cachuma provides more than 70% of the water supply to 200,000 residents of Goleta, Santa Barbara, Montecito, and Carpinteria, but record low levels in the reservoir make normal gravity-feed methods of extracting water difficult.
“On behalf of the Member Agencies of COMB and the COMB Board of Directors, an expression of sincere appreciation is extended to Congressman Carbajal for his efforts in securing community project funding for a vital project that will provide water to more than 200,000 people on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County. This lifeline infrastructure project is critically needed during unprecedented drought conditions and will serve to sustain health and safety in our community,” said Janet Gingras, General Manager of the Cachuma Operation and Maintenance Board.
The full list of projects secured by Carbajal for Fiscal Year 2023, as well as more information on the rules governing what projects could be requested, can be found here.
This is the second year that Rep. Carbajal and his colleagues have been permitted to request specific Community Project Funding (CPF). In Fiscal Year 2022, Rep. Carbajal delivered nearly $18 million for nine community projects on the Central Coast.
More information on those CPFs can be found here.