The Senate Appropriations Committee approved $8 million Thursday to spruce up some aging Utah neighborhoods and help build a key sewer system needed for the Olympics.

Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, the only Utah member of Congress on an appropriations committee, requested the money as part of the Veteran's Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and Independent Agencies Appropriation bill.To help the Olympics, it includes $2.2 million for a new sewer system for Soldier Hollow, part of the Charleston Water Conservancy District in Wasatch County.

That area will host the cross country, biathlon and Nordic combined events. But Charleston does not have a sewer system and requires upgrading of its water system.

Also included is $500,000 in HUD funds for the Salt Lake Redevelopment Agency for improvements in the Gateway District, an area where many rail tracks are being removed to clear the way for new development - including some for Olympic housing.

The bill also includes $1.5 million in HUD money to assist in the economic revitalization of businesses in the historic district of Provo.

Also, $1 million in Environmental Protection Agency money was earmarked to help address Ogden's failing sewer system in central parts of the city.

The bill includes $300,000 for the Sandy City Dry Creek project to develop 3 to 5 acres of wetlands in the Dry Creek Channel to help improve water quality, flood plain management, wildlife habitat and recreation.

The bill also includes $3 million for the Southwest Center for Environmental Policy, a coalition including the University of Utah, to conduct environmental research along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The bill now goes to the full Senate.