Rep. DeSaulnier secures more than $8M for countywide projects

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Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (Photo courtesy of his office)

By Kathy Chouteau

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) has secured $8,061,000 for 10 Contra Costa County community projects via the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 (H.R. 2471), which passed the U.S. House of Representatives, according to his office Thursday.

The bill, which now proceeds to the U.S. Senate, impacts projects relating to behavioral and mental health, veterans, transportation improvements, student internet access and transitioning away from fossil fuels. It is “expected to be signed into law by President Biden following passage,” said the congressman’s office.

The congressman noted that for the first time in a decade, we finally have the opportunity to bring home funding to Contra Costa “for specific projects that will have a meaningful impact on people’s daily lives.” He added that the quality of life of residents across the County “will be much improved thanks to this critical funding.”

Here’s the rundown of countywide projects in line for funding, all of which were subjected to a stringent transparency and accountability process:

Behavioral/Physical Health Projects

The bill’s behavioral/physical health projects include $1.061 million for a Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) Expansion Project for Contra Costa County Health Services Department–Behavioral Health Division, which will see the department add two more Mobile Crisis Response Teams, as well as add counselors to the Alcohol and Other Drugs Services.

The Contra Costa Crisis Services Hub Project for Contra Costa County Health Services Department–Behavioral Health Division would receive $1 million to renovate a County facility into the new Contra Costa Crisis Hub to expand access to integrated mental health and substance use treatment services under one roof—saving residents costly emergency services and making these types of services “less dependent on law enforcement,” per the congressman’s office.

Another $900,000 is slated for the Collaborative Care Implementation Project for Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and Health Clinics to institute standardized treatment at 11 Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHCs) within the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and Health Centers (CCRMC-HC) system. This project includes creating and implementing an Electronic Health Record (EHR) and related staff training.

Transportation Projects

H.R. 2471 also secures $1.2 million for the Concord Smart Signals Project for the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) to upgrade traffic signals to a smart signal system in Concord to help reduce congestion/emissions and increase safety measures.

Another $1.2 million is slated for the Pittsburg Center Smart City Pilot, which will see Pittsburg implement Smart City technologies along the transportation grid surrounding the BART station with adaptive street lights, connected traffic signals and digital/static signage.

The Danville Townwide Traffic Signal Modernization/ITS Project is dog-eared to receive $1 million to modernize the town’s traffic signal system network, encompassing its deteriorating traffic signal hardware, vehicular detection systems and communications infrastructure.

The bill also includes $350,000 for the Iron Horse Trail Bridge, Nature Park, and Pedestrian Safety Project so Danville—in coordination with San Ramon and Dublin—can make key safety improvements and enhancements to the Iron Horse Trail spanning from Concord to Pleasanton.

Additional county projects to receive funding include $900,000 for the Educational Internet Access Project for the Contra Costa County Office of Education to rebuild/enhance internet/firewall services required to provide improved internet connectivity to eighteen school districts supporting 24,000 educators, 172,000 students and their families.

The Just Transition Economic Revitalization Plan Project for the Contra Costa County Department of Conservation and Development will receive $750,000 for community outreach and engagement, studies, economic analysis and staffing to develop a framework for green economic development throughout the County.

And the Veterans Memorial Buildings Improvements Project will receive $700,000 for the Contra Costa County Veterans Services Office to implement energy efficiency, environmental and safety upgrades expected to reduce maintenance costs at Veterans Memorial Buildings throughout California’s 11th Congressional District.