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Emerson announces funds for district

Washington County and the Mineral Area Drug Task Force are among several recipients in U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson’s (MO-08) district that will receive money under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010, Emerson announced on Friday.

Bill 3288 passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and should be signed into law shortly, she added.

 Among the funding Emerson requested for her district was $300,000 to Washington County for ADA building compliance activities and  $200,000 for the drug task force.

“I’m very proud to advocate for the wide range of projects that give our congressional district a return on the tax dollars we send to Washington,” Emerson explained. “These transportation, law enforcement, economic development and other priorities I am able to identify with the help of advocates in Missouri are extremely beneficial to our congressional district.”

Emerson has long been a champion for drug task forces in Southern Missouri, and the legislation includes $650,000 for three of the local, state and federal partnerships in her district. Included in that figure is $200,000 for the SEMO Drug Task Force and $250,000 for the South Central Drug Task Force.

“We can’t overstate the role of these task forces that find, apprehend and prosecute methamphetamine makers and dealers,” Emerson said. “They are on the front lines. Their hard work reduces drug crimes in our communities and makes Southern Missouri a safer place for our families. This bill funds another important effort at the SEMO Network Against Sexual Violence to prosecute sex offenders who commit crimes in Southern Missouri.”

The SEMO Network Against Sexual Violence will receive $200,000 under the bill.

Another $697,000 is set aside for a Visual Intelligence Tool for law enforcement in Iron, Washington, and Bollinger counties.

The bill also identifies transportation priorities for the area, and requests were made in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Transportation. Highway 63 and Highway 67 will receive additional funds, as well as priority projects in Perry, Bollinger, Washington and Cape Girardeau counties.

“Our transportation infrastructure is the foundation of the economic strength in our region,” Emerson said.  “Construction projects mean safer roads and bridges, better efficiency for Southern Missouri businesses, and more jobs in our area.

“This is the kind of economic investment we need to have in America, and we ought to have more of it.”

Emerson fought for $650,000 included in the bill to make improvements to Route 25 in Jackson.

Other projects included in the bill at Emerson’s request and the amounts funded:

• Chester Bridge in Perry County – deck repair, $500,000

• Route 25 in Jackson – safety and roadway improvements, $650,000

• Route 34 in Bollinger and Cape Girardeau counties, – safety improvements and resurfacing, $500,000

• Route 63 in Phelps and Maries counties – Engineering and Right of Way Improvements, $500,000

• Route 67 in Butler County – extend existing four-lane south to Route 160, $500,000

• Ozarks Medical Center – expanded emergency room equipment, $500,000

• SEMO University SHOW Mobile Initiative, $205,000

• SEMO University – information commons development and expansion, $500,000

• Three Rivers Community College – technology advancement project, $215,000

• Susana Wesley Family Learning Center – Pass to Work Program, $250,000

• Missouri State University, West Plains – equipment for a nursing clinic, $250,000

• University of Missouri – Extension Community Economic and Entrepreneurial Program, $299,000

• Downtown West Plains, Inc. – Ozark Small Business Incubator, $500,000

Emerson was one of multiple members of Congress who supported funds for the Girl Scouts of the USA Financial Literacy Program. The Girl Scouts will receive $306,875.

Paula Barr is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 172 or at

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