Press Release

U.S. Rep. Castor Celebrates Federal Grants to Lift Up University Area Families, Students & Businesses

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Washington, June 6, 2019 | comments
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) announced today two federal grants awarded to the University area, continuing her work to lift up the families, students and businesses who live and work in this growing area of innovation. These grants, awarded to University Area Community Development Corporation Inc. ($300,000) and the University of South Florida ($7.5 million), will bolster the region’s economy and continue investment in research and innovation burgeoning from the USF area.
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U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) announced today two federal grants awarded to the University area, continuing her work to lift up the families, students and businesses who live and work in this growing area of innovation.  These grants, awarded to University Area Community Development Corporation Inc. ($300,000) and the University of South Florida ($7.5 million), will bolster the region’s economy and continue investment in research and innovation burgeoning from the USF area.  U.S. Rep. Castor led her Congressional colleagues representing the entire Tampa Bay region in championing the grant for the University of South Florida.

“The University area is home to several Tampa Bay economic anchors and growing expertise and innovation,” U.S. Rep. Castor said.  “These grants will continue to lift the University area, Tampa Bay and the nation as we work to improve our environment and infrastructure.”

University Area Community Development Corporation Inc. (UACDC)

The UACDC is being awarded $300,000 in Brownfields funding through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Program.  Communities use EPA's Brownfields grants to leverage public-private investments, spurring the redevelopment of vacant, former manufacturing and commercial sites for broader revitalization in their downtowns.  This results in a transformed economy and environment while addressing poverty and economic distress.

The grant funding will be used for nine environmental site assessments, including sites with hazardous substances and petroleum.  UACDC will also develop three reuse plans for these sites and conduct community outreach in the University area.

“Environmental Justice ensures all communities, families and individuals enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards.  Tampa Bay is a region with a strong track record of turning Brownfields sites into jobs and I will continue to work to secure federal investments to redevelop these and lift communities, " said U.S. Rep. Castor.  “Tampa Family Health Centers has put Brownfields redevelopment dollars to work, including a site in East Tampa that became a national model.  The Encore development is another Brownfields success story.  UACDC has the opportunity to continue our community’s success, transforming once-contaminated sites in the University area into community assets that attracts jobs, increase the value of our homes and help our economy grow.”

U.S. Rep. Castor has long focused on protecting and restoring Tampa Bay’s environment, including holding a series of Environmental Justice roundtable discussions with local advocates and leaders to gather input as the EPA updated its programs, policies and activities related to advancing environmental justice, which the agency carries out every five years.  While collecting comments from her neighbors to ensure the EPA heard from Tampa Bay, many local advocates and Tampa Bay leaders called for additional investments in Brownfield properties.

University of South Florida (USF)

USF is being awarded $7.5 million in funds through the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to establish a National University Transportation Center (UTC) to advance state-of-the-art transportation research.  The research will be focused on urban-rural traffic management, new mobility platforms to reduce congestion, transit incentives in the face of new alternatives and congestion reduction methods on freeway corridors.

To help secure this large grant, U.S. Rep. Castor led her colleagues from the Tampa Bay congressional delegation in championing USF for this highly competitive award.   

“Investing in our infrastructure creates jobs and can help us tackle the climate crisis through smart solutions, such as greener grid infrastructure, expansion of renewable energy and energy efficiency programs,” said U.S. Rep. Castor.

USF will team up with partners – including University of California, Berkeley, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, and University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez – to launch the national center with the goal of making transformative impacts on how neighbors in Tampa Bay and throughout the nation move and travel.

So far this fiscal year, U.S. Rep. Castor’s Congressional District has been awarded more than $684 million in investments through 340 grant awards to create jobs and invest in education and infrastructure.

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