Bristol Virginia Leaders Praise Sen Allen
ARLINGTON, VA - While Jim Webb was campaigning this morning at the historic Bristol Train Station in downtown Bristol, local leaders in Southwest Virginia were once again praising Senator Allen for the work he has done in the Senate on behalf of the region: specifically lauding his actions to revitalize downtown Bristol and to preserve the very station at which Webb was campaigning.
"George Allen has been a long time supporter of revitalizing downtown Bristol," said State Senator William Wampler. "The historic Bristol Train Station is one of the anchor projects to revitalize downtown. Most recently Senator Allen was successful in securing $1.4 million to help preserve this historic part of Southwest Virginia. George Allen has always supported Southwest Virginia and he demonstrated that once again by fighting for this appropriation in the Senate."
"On behalf of the Bristol Train Station Foundation and the people of Southwest Virginia, we want to thank Senator George Allen for his help in procuring financial assistance to preserve this important part of the region's history," said the Secretary of the Bristol Train Station Foundation Mary Beth Rainero. "Now the story of the economic development of the region and the important part the railroad played in that, can preserved and passed on to future generations."
In contrast to Jim Webb, Senator Allen has a long record of positive achievements for Southwest Virginia. Listed below are just some of the projects that Senator Allen helped secure for the region during his first term in the Senate.
Senator Allen's Accomplishments for Southwest Virginia
Bristol Train Station
* Senator Allen helped secure $1.4 million in federal funding for the historic preservation of the Bristol Train Station.
Rural Health Care
* Senator Allen has worked closely with the Virginia Rural Health Association in support of increased funding for federal rural health programs, administered through the National Health Service Corps, including the Rural Health Outreach, the Network Development and Telemedicine Grant Program, and the Consolidated Health Centers Program.
* Senator Allen actively supported the establishment of the University of Appalachia School of Pharmacy and secured funding to help install a community education and outreach program.
Appalachian Regional Commission
* Senator Allen is a strong supporter of the Appalachian Regional Commission and has consistently advocated for increased funding for the ARC, which supports economic and social development in the Appalachian region, including 23 counties and eight independent cities in Southwest Virginia.
Tobacco buyout meeting
* During discussion on a federal tobacco quota buyout, Senator Allen organized a meeting in 2005, held in Gate City, for Southwest Virginia tobacco growers to meet with federal agriculture department officials about concerns with the tobacco buyout.
Clean Coal Technology
* Senator Allen is a leader in the Senate in support of investment in clean coal technology and has been able to help secure federal funding for the development and implementation of accelerated research and development programs for clean coal technology. Virginia's coal comes from Dickenson, Wise, Buchanan, Lee, Russell, Scott, and Tazewell counties.
* Senator Allen is a leader in the Senate on increasing the deployment of broadband to rural areas. He introduced the Wireless Innovation Act of 2006 to facilitate the development of wireless broadband Internet access by allocating certain areas within the broadcast spectrum. This will particularly benefit those living and working in areas that otherwise have no connectivity to broadband Internet and will help close the economic digital divide.
* Senator Allen brought officials from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to Roanoke to meet with Virginia housing authorities from all over Southwest to hear their concerns with a proposal that would have dramatically changed the Section 8 housing program. Senator Allen worked closely with Virginia's Public Housing Authorities to ensure that any changes in the program did not adversely impact Virginians living in subsidized housing or Virginia'spublic housing authorities.
* Senator Allen was named Honorary Haysi Fire Chief and helped to secure a federal grant for the Haysi Volunteer Fire Department to purchase new fire department equipment and USDA grants and loans to purchase two new police cruisers and for the renovation of the fire hall.
Small Business Assistance
* In order to assist small businesses in Southwest Virginia, and to make them more competitive, Senator Allen co-hosted two sessions of Southwest Virginia Community College's "Small Business Opportunity Fair and Conference." The Conference provides businesses with a setting where they can meet and network one-on-one with agency or prime contractor buying representatives.
* Senator Allen has a long history of support for the Coalfields Expressway, which would spur economic growth and development for families who want more job opportunities. Senator Allen continues to work with the Federal Highway Administration, the Virginia Congressional delegation, local and State elected officials and interested members of the public to find a way to bring the project back into compliance with the guidelines established when the project was approved.
* Senator Allen helped the historic Barter Theater in Abingdon obtain funding for important upgrades and renovations to the theaters structure.
Roanoke RiverFlood Control Project
* Senator Allen is working with local officials and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in support of the Roanoke Flood Control Project, which is vital to downtown Roanoke and important for other projects along the River including the hospital, the Bio-Medical Institute and surrounding neighborhoods.
The Art Museum of Western Virginia
* Senator Allen continues to be closely involved with the effort to expand the Art Museum of Western Virginia in Roanoke, in particular to build a new facility to include 19th and 20th century American art exhibits.
The Smart OR Project - Carilion Health System - Labor/HHS
* Senator Allen has worked with Carilion Health Systems in Roanoke in support of the Smart OR Project, which incorporates a state-of-the-art technology for minimally invasive cardiac surgery procedures.