Water project funds announced for Crook and Wheeler counties

Oregon’s U.S. Sens.
Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden recently announced funding for community projects
across Oregon in the Fiscal Year 2023 Senate Appropriations bills.

Some of the funding
will benefit projects in Crook and Wheeler counties. $2.5 million is set aside
for Ochoco Irrigation District for McKay Creek infrastructure while another
$1.019 million will be provided for the Wheeler County Office of Emergency
Management for its radio system upgrade.

The local projects
join a total of 111 others that were included in the FY23 federal funding
bills, with investment in wildfire and drought resiliency, affordable housing,
health care, education and more, while creating essential services and jobs.

“No one knows
the unique needs of communities across Oregon like the folks living and working
in them,”said Merkley.”I am pleased to have worked with my colleagues
on the committee and Sen. Wyden to secure funding for these important homegrown
projects, and we’ll keep pushing to get them across the finish line for

Wyden went on to
note that during town halls, residents have told him that federal investments
should reflect their priorities to generate jobs in their communities, keep
everybody safe and build an even stronger quality of life across the state.

“I’m gratified
the teamwork with Oregonians who know their local priorities best has produced
such promising federal investments to strengthen communities all across
Oregon,” he added. “Bottom line, our state’s communities are focused
on coming together to forge Oregon Way solutions that build a better state just
like these targeted investments, and I’ll keep battling to make sure these
projects advance.”

The 111 Oregon
community-initiated projects were spread out among bills produced by the
Appropriations subcommittees, including 20 projects in the Interior, Environment
and Related Agencies subcommittee, of which Merkley is chair. The Senate bills
next need to be merged with legislation produced by the House of
Representatives, a process expected later in the year. The Senators will
continue to advocate that the Oregon projects are included in the combined