Senate appropriators on Thursday approved $79 million for projects at Hill Air Force Base and Camp Williams, and another $16 million for agricultural research and programs in Utah.

That came as the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of two annual spending bills for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, one for military construction and one for agriculture. They now go to the full Senate.

The bill contains nearly $62 million for facility upgrades and construction at Hill Air Force Base. That includes $36 million for an F-22A maintenance facility; $20.4 million for a hydrant fuel system; and $5.4 million for a new fire station.

Camp Williams would receive $17.5 million for an ammunition supply point.

"As the Department of Defense continues to rely heavily on these Utah bases, it is important that they have up-to-date facilities and the resources they need," said Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, a member of the Appropriations Committee.

Bennett, the ranking Republican on the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees agriculture, won funding for many Utah projects, including $5.5 million to support the design and preliminary stages of construction for a new Agriculture Research Center at Utah State University.

Besides that, USU received nearly another $6 million for a variety of research indicatives from drought management to wildlife damage management and natural resource conservation.

Other funding includes $1.1 million to control Mormon crickets in Utah; $182,000 to continue research on chronic wasting disease affecting deer and elk in Utah and the West; $559,000 for research involving the University of Utah to predict how patients respond to drugs used to treat heart failure; $251,000 for a pilot project to protect ground water from concentrated animal feed operation wastes; and $2.6 million for the Utah Conservation Initiative.


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