Columbia County programs to receive $1.85M from federal budget

Nearly $2 million will be coming to Columbia County programs
from the 2023 budget bill signed by President Joe Biden on Dec. 29, 2022.

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici and Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley
secured $1.85 million in funding via a congressional program to fund community
projects in legislators’ districts.

Half a million dollars will go to Lifempowered, formerly known as Riverside Training Centers,
for the initial stages of its multi-million dollar plans to build a new
“Empowerment Center” for the nonprofit’s work with adults with
intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Columbia Economic Team and Oregon Manufacturing
Innovation Center are establishing a small business incubator with a focus on advanced and
additive manufacturing. That project will receive $814,000 to begin planning
the program, which will be located in OMIC Research & Development’s future
third building.

The Scappoose Rural Fire District will receive $198,000 to
start a program for high school students interested in fire
service and aviation. The district is involved in efforts to expand the use of
drones in emergency response, so the high school program will offer exposure to
unmanned aircraft systems and traditional elements of fire service.

St. Helens will receive $340,000 for law enforcement technology. The money would be used for
“purchase of forensic work stations, secure data storage and technology
infrastructure,” specifically for use in child exploitation
investigations, a city official said.