With both parties in Congress deciding last month to bring back earmarks -- directed funding for local projects often referred to as "pork" -- local governments aren't wasting much time in lining up their requests.
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider a list of proposals from county departments regarding their needs and wants, then decide what to request from the local congressional delegation for the next fiscal year.
New appropriations rules limit members of Congress to submit up to 10 community project proposals for their district, with no guarantees of success and no funding beyond the initial year.
The House Committee on Appropriations released guidelines for community project funding earlier this month. Members must submit requests by mid-April, depending on which bill requests would be attached, meaning the county had to submit its wish list as early as this Friday.
After soliciting input from department heads, county staff is asking the board to consider a mix of possibilities, from helping fund the Contra Costa Crisis Services Hub to a new control tower at Concord's Buchanan Field Airport.
The final list goes to Reps. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Walnut Creek), Mike Thompson (D-Napa), Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton) and Eric Swalwell (D-Livermore).
The county hasn't officially received solicitation documents from California's two senators, Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla.
Contra Costa County will likely send three requests to all four members of its House delegation: $2.81 million for Contra Costa Services Hub, $1.06 million for expansion of the county's mobile crisis response team, $900,000 for collaborative care implementation, and $600,000 for improvements for veterans memorial buildings.
The longest wish list will go to DeSaulnier, including $1 million for Bay Point library improvements, $4 million in bridge replacement funds for Morgan Territory and Marsh Creek roads; $19 million for Buchanan Field's control tower, terminal and administration buildings, and $5.8 million for Byron Airport's utility program.
The county will also ask Thompson for $2.5 million for a trail at Carquinez Middle School.
The report says priority will be given to projects that already have funding from other sources and those that can be completed with the requested amount. Thompson also told the county several programs going before the appropriations committee will require matching funds from state and local sources. Matching money doesn't have to be in-hand at the time of the request -- local officials just have to have a plan to get those funds.
"Community engagement and support for those projects is crucial in determining which projects will ultimately be selected for federal funding," the report says.
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors meets virtually at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Meetings can be accessed at https://www.contracosta.ca.gov.