In 2008, the City of Hood River received grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to upgrade the city’s 100 year old water infrastructure, however, after many round of back and forth between the local USDA office and the national USDA office, the USDA informed the city that portions of the of the project were ineligible for funding and would be revoking the funding. Frustrated by bureaucratic infighting and the loss of funding to help the community replace aging infrastructure, the City of Hood River contacted Jeff Merkley’s office in 2011 for help.
Jeff’s staff provided guidance to the city and helped advocate on their behalf as they successfully appealed the USDA’s determination not once, but twice. In the end, the City of Hood River prevailed, was able to keep the funding and continue upgrading their badly needed water transmission line.
Not only does this demonstrate Jeff’s commitment to fairness and cutting through bureaucratic red tape when necessary, but it underscores his commitment to making sure that we get Oregonians back to work by upgrading and replacing aging infrastructure across the state.