Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson and the Alabama State Port Authority on Tuesday released respective statements lauding U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) for his continued support of Coastal Alabama in the comprehensive Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations package that was passed by Congress the previous day.
A release from Stimpson noted that in the omnibus appropriations bill and throughout previous years, Shelby has especially helped improve the competitiveness of both the Port of Mobile and the Downtown Mobile Airport. The release advised that those are only two of “many ways the City of Mobile has benefited” from Shelby’s leadership as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
“With the passage of the 2021 appropriations package, Sen. Shelby is once again leading the charge to invest in Southwest Alabama,” stated Stimpson. “It is hard to overstate the role he has played in Mobile’s quest to become a world class city and global competitor in multiple industries.”
“From education to defense and commerce to transportation — there’s virtually no sector of our economy Sen. Shelby hasn’t impacted at the federal level,” the mayor continued. “His continued support benefits not just Mobile but our whole region and the entire State of Alabama.”
Stimpson outlined, “Included in this omnibus bill is an additional Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ship with increased medical capabilities, as well as funding to explore autonomous proficiencies for existing EPF ships. The continued support of Austal USA is important to the strength of our local economy.”
“In recent years, Sen. Shelby has helped direct federal funding toward the continued growth of the Brookley Aerospace Complex and the Port of Mobile,” he concluded. “He has championed additional workforce development funding to help large manufacturers like Airbus and Austal continue to expand and add jobs that are now a crucial part of our local economy. Under Sen. Shelby’s leadership, our City has seen federal support for major projects in recent years such as the I-10 bridge, the widening and deepening of the Mobile Shipping Channel and the newly constructed federal courthouse Downtown.”
In a separate release, the Alabama State Port Authority highlighted that through the FY21 appropriations package, Shelby was instrumental in funding key competitive grant programs that provide assistance in road, rail, transit and port infrastructure projects.
“Senator Richard Shelby successfully delivered the bipartisan measure that provides essential funding assistance for both individuals and public infrastructure projects essential to Alabama citizens, businesses and jobs,” said John C. Driscoll, director and CEO of the Alabama State Port Authority.
For aviation, Alabama’s senior senator helped secure nearly $18 billion for funding assistance for airports, control towers, advanced materials and structural safety programs and aviation workforce development. For waterborne commerce, Shelby championed much needed funding levels for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program. This appropriations component provides federal dredging of Alabama’s seaport and its inland waterway channels, berth dredging at the public terminals, and lock/dam operations and maintenance for both commercial and recreation use. Other measures in the appropriations omnibus reportedly allows for competitive grants for port security and diesel emissions reductions, as well.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn