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WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 6, 1995--President Clinton's annual budget request to Congress today includes a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program in the amount of $3.68 billion.

The President requests $3.32 billion in budget authority; approximately $360 million is available from unobligated funds from prior years.

The budget request reflects the President's commitment to focus the development of the Nation's water resources on projects and programs which have national significance.

Appropriations for the FY 96 program will be offset by $44 million in receipts from recreation user fees, leases and regulatory permit application fees. An additional $347 million will be contributed by local sponsors and the Coastal Wetlands Restoration Fund.

"In an effort to continue streamlining the Federal government and phase out the Corps role on smaller projects, the budget contains only new starts for projects of national significance," according to Dr. John H. Zirschky, acting assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works. "We have not proposed new starts for any local flood protection or shore protection projects. These projects, which provide primarily local benefits, are best left to State and local governments."

Ten million dollars is requested for 31 new surveys or studies on a variety of issues such as navigation, environmental restoration and a special National Assessment of Water Supply Demand and Availability. Five new follow-on studies begin Preconstruction Engineering and Design on cost-shared navigation projects.

Nine new starts in the construction category include projects at Los Angeles Harbor and Abiquiu Dam, N.M., the Fairfield Bridge in North Carolina and six major rehabilitation projects at two locks and dams, 3 powerhouses and a flood channel.

"The budget will permit the Corps to follow through, with few exceptions, on planning and construction projects for which appropriations were made available in previous years," according to Dr. Zirschky.

He also noted that although the budget does not contain specific funding for the reorganization of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Secretary of the Army is continuing his efforts to restructure the Corps in FY 1995 using funds which were previously earmarked by Congress for this purpose.

The FY '96 program includes an increase of $11 million for the Corps regulatory program to continue implementing the President's Wetlands Plan which was announced in August, 1993. Of this amount, $6 million is estimated to be generated by increased permit fees, which will be included in legislation being proposed by the Administration.

Also included in the request is $78 million to continue the program of Juvenile Fish Mitigation in the Pacific Northwest which will provide funds to continue construction of juvenile by pass and transportation facilities and to study additional fish survival and recovery measures.

The FY '96 program also includes funds for environmental work in Florida to restore fresh water to the Everglades. Approximately $10 million is included for the Central and Southern Florida project to continue the feasibility phase of the comprehensive review study, begin construction of channels and canals for South Dade County (C-111) and continue engineering and design for the West Palm Beach Canal (C-51). The program also includes over $17 million for the Kissimmee River restoration project.

The FY 96 Program includes the following amounts: $160 million for General Investigations; $1.14 billion for Construction, General; $1.75 billion for Operations and Maintenance; $112 million for the Regulatory Program; $319 million for Flood Control, Mississippi River and Tributaries; $165 million for General expenses; $20 million for Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies; and $850 thousand for Oil Spill Research.

The mission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is to provide quality, responsive engineering service to the nation. The Corps plans, designs, builds and operates water resources and other civil works projects, provides military construction for the Army and Air Force, as well as design and construction management support for other Defense and Federal agencies. Under the Civil Works program, the Corps operates and maintains almost 300 deep draft harbors, 11 thousand miles of navigable waterways, over 375 lakes and reservoirs, and over 4,000 recreation sites at over 450 projects.

CONTACT: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Carol A. Sanders, 202/272-0011
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 6, 1995
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