Wyden, Merkley secure millions in funding for Washington County community projects

Beaverton Valley Times

More community-project funding is making its way to Washington County — courtesy of the 2024 spending bill recently signed into law by President Joe Biden.

Oregon Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced Wednesday, March 27, that they secured a number of investments for essential initiatives, including city projects west of Portland.

In total, 139 Oregon community-initiated projects will receive money from government funding packages thanks to Oregon leaders.

“Community-initiated projects are rooted in the fact that no one knows the unique needs of communities across Oregon like the folks living and working in them. The communities identified top projects, and we fought for them,” Merkley said. “Together with Sen. Wyden and members of Oregon’s House delegation, we secured funding for 139 of these important homegrown projects that will benefit Oregonians in every corner of the state for years to come.”

“Oregonians are the true experts on their communities’ needs, and these federal investments reflect their informed local expertise,” Wyden added. “I’m glad the teamwork with these Oregon communities and Sen. Merkley has generated such a comprehensive and powerful package of wins that make our state an even better place to live and work.”

Among various projects, the following funds will head to local initiatives:

  • Washington County will receive $2.5 million to establish the Center for Addictions Triage and Treatment, addressing the pressing need for expanded addiction services. The center will bolster access to critical outpatient and residential treatments, withdrawal management, peer support services and supportive housing programs.
  • The city of Hillsboro is slated for a $2.24 million investment as it prepares for the first phase of its Upper Pipeline Mitigation System Project. With the current system experiencing significant leakage of up to 50% — particularly impacting rural areas — the funding will support infrastructure upgrades to ensure reliable water access.
  • Oregon Health and Science University has been allocated $2 million for the Oregon Nurse Education, Practice Integration, and Retention Demonstration Project. Aimed at addressing Oregon’s nurse shortage, this initiative will offer novel educational pathways and retention strategies to help stabilize the nursing workforce.
  • The City of Forest Grove is set to receive $900,000 for its project to install three 100 KW solar arrays at community facilities, which will lower energy costs for low-income customers, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and mitigate economic disparities through sustainable energy solutions.

Alongside the funding secured by Merkley and Wyden, U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici steered nearly $17 million toward projects including some in Washington County, while U.S. Rep. Andrea Salinas helped push $14 million through.