Hunters Point mop-up may get funds

The City’s plan to keep the San Francisco 49ers from moving to Santa Clara by offering to build a new stadium at Hunters Point may get a needed $60 million infusion of federal funds to expedite cleanup of the toxic site.

Mayor Gavin Newsom, who has been lobbying federal officials for months, told The Examiner on Wednesday that the money was passed through the House Appropriations Committee last week for the remediation work.

“At this stage, we’re right where we want to be,” Newsom said.

A $60 million investment this year would fund a phase of the cleanup on the parcel under the proposed stadium.

A second infusion of cash would be needed next year in order to meet the 49ers’ timeline of having a stadium built by 2012, the mayor’s spokesman, Nathan Ballard, said.

This year’s funding — which is divided among several different appropriations bills — has not been approved by the full House, so in the end, the amount San Francisco receives could be less.

“Until these bills are signed, the amount could change,” Ballard said. “But the mayor will remain vigilant until the ink is dry.”

In November, the 49ers announced their intention to build a new stadium by 2012, with the preferred site near Great America amusement park in Santa Clara.

At the time, team officials said a proposed stadium project at the current Candlestick Point site was unworkable for numerous reasons, including a plan to pack cars into a massive parking garage.

The City has since proposed a stadium at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, but in addition to the environmental cleanup, the 49ers have questioned The City’s ability to build transportation infrastructure to transport fans to the remote spot.

“The good news is that Hunters Point is going to get cleaned up regardless of the 49ers being a participant or not,” 49ers spokesperson Pete Hillan said. “In terms of tipping the scales, as we’ve said, our priority is with the city of Santa Clara.”

The Santa Clara City Council is conducting a feasibilitystudy of the project and mulling over its financial options.

The 49ers have asked the Silicon Valley city to invest $160 million in public funds to help build the stadium, build a new parking lot and move a utility substation out of the proposed stadium area.

San Francisco’s proposal contributes $100 million, which would come from revenues generated by a nearby development at Candlestick Point.

Pelosi pushes to restore San Francisco’s AIDS funding

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is working to restore to San Francisco $6.3 million in AIDS funding that was cut from the Bush administration’s budget, Mayor Gavin Newsom’s press office told The Examiner on Wednesday.

Newsom had lobbied for the urgently needed funding, his spokesman Nathan Ballard said. San Francisco has the third-largest number of people living with HIV infections in the United States, after New York and Los Angeles.

This year, the federal government allocated $18.81 million in Ryan White AIDS funds to San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties — a $9 million cut from the previous allocation, the vast majority of which would come out of San Francisco’s budget.

The $6.3 million was included in the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill, which passed through the House Appropriations Committee. The bill remains to be voted on by the full House.

beslinger@examiner.com


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