Federal funding fuels Portland projects including police body cameras, park lighting

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A federal funding package has provided Portland with $7.1 million that will finance police body cameras, affordable housing and infrastructure upgrades throughout the city.

Earlier this month, Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer announced he had secured almost $17 million for community projects statewide he said “can make a real difference for the health, safety, and economic security of our community at a critical time.”

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A portion of the investments were requested by Portland leaders, who released a list of upcoming investments on Monday.

According to city officials, $2.3 million will go toward installing traffic signals and other safety upgrades to two parts of Southeast 112th Avenue that have been deemed “crash-prone intersections.” At Division Street and Holgate Boulevard, locals can expect higher visibility crosswalks, new signals to separate vehicle traffic from cyclists and pedestrians, and improved street lighting.

The Portland Housing Bureau will receive $2 million to help fund a 129-unit affordable housing unit in Southwest Portland’s Hillsdale neighborhood. Officials said the Barbur Apartments will prioritize East African, North African and Muslim communities, with the area’s largest mosque and other Muslim organizations found nearby.

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Additionally, $1.4 million has been allocated for the Portland Police Bureau’s body cameras. PPB conducted a two-month pilot program with the body cameras in late 2023, and City Council later approved a five-year, $10 million contract with a technology and weapon manufacturing company. This made Portland the last major U.S. city to implement the program, which will officially launch this year.

Another $940,000 will cover the Tryon Creek culvert replacement. The fish passage barrier that flows from Highway 43 to the Willamette River. The project will “restore access to 2.7 miles of high-quality spawning and rearing habitat in the Tryon Creek watershed – making way for threatened native fish, including coho and Chinook salmon,” according to officials.

Lastly, $500,000 will further Portland Parks & Recreation’s efforts to restore lighting at citywide parks. The department plans to swap outdated lighting with LED lights that last longer and are more environmentally-friendly.

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“I’m grateful that Portland’s priority projects received support from our congressional delegation,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said about the federal funding package. “National investment will accelerate our progress in addressing the issues that matter most to Portlanders.”

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