March 12, 2009

Udall Helps Sandoval County Get Clean Water, Public Transit, Health Care

WASHINGTION­- The omnibus appropriations bill signed into law by President Barack Obama contains almost $3.8 million for Sandoval County and central New Mexico secured by U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-N.M. The assistance will provide services to New Mexicans with disabilities, help rural New Mexicans get access to health care and expand public transportation.


"As Sandoval County continues to grow, the community faces unique challenges and opportunities," said Udall. "The legislation President Obama signed into law will help the area address today's struggling economy while laying the groundwork for lasting, sustainable prosperity."


The bill contains $571,000 for a dialysis center in the Village of Cuba. Currently, patients needing dialysis are forced to travel more than 75 miles round trip, three days a week, for this lifesaving procedure.


"Rural New Mexicans deserve access to health care services just as much as city residents do, but right now people in Cuba have to spend hours every week just traveling to and from the services they need," said Udall. "With a new dialysis center, the people of Cuba will be able to access essential health care without being forced to travel hundreds of miles a week or spend much of their limited incomes on gas."


The legislation signed into law also contains $313,500 for the Rio Rancho Rio Transit program to purchase transit vehicles with wheelchair lifts. The vehicles can be used to transport seniors and disabled adults for medical, employment, educational and personal care shopping purposes.


"Public transit gives our citizens greater mobility, saves money otherwise spent on gas, and helps reduces our dependence on foreign oil," said Udall. "This investment will help ensure that Rio Rancho's public transit system is not effectively off-limits to our most vulnerable citizens, including many of those citizens who need public transit the most."


The bill also includes almost $3 million for water projects in Bernalillo, Sandoval and Valencia Counties. The funding will help pay for water system improvements in Rio Rancho.


"In New Mexico, water is too precious to waste," said Udall. "This funding will help ensure that Rio Rancho's water system gets this crucial resource to our families as efficiently as possible."


Finally, the bill contains $122,821 to allow Adelante Development Center, Inc. to expand services to persons with disabilities living in Sandoval County. Adelante helps individuals with disabilities to live independently, to work and to have income through school-to-work transition programs, supported employment and businesses that focus on hiring the disabled.


"Too often, we do not make it possible for our disabled citizens to contribute to our communities," said Udall. "Adelante has a record of helping disabled New Mexicans live independent and productive lives, and I am proud I was able to help them do even more for New Mexico."