President Donald Trump's FY 2020 Budget, released Monday, contains $53 million for the Wilmington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the district office announced Wednesday.
Of that total for the next federal fiscal year, nearly $16.6 million is earmarked for maintenance dredging projects in the Wilmington harbor and Masonboro Inlet, according to a news release from the USACE's District headquarters in Wilmington. The harbor gets almost all of that amount, with only $25,000 budgeted for Masonboro Inlet. That $25,000 is half the amount that was proposed for the inlet in the president's FY 2019 budget, while the proposed figure for harbor dredging was up almost $2 million from the what Trump proposed in his FY 2019 budget.
The Congressional appropriation last year for dredging, however, was far below the president's proposed $14.7 million, at only $9.5 million.
The proposed budget also includes funding for a study of three locks and dams on the Cape Fear River upriver of Wilmington, dredging of Morehead City Harbor and various operations and maintenance projects at five lakes within the Wilmington District. The district covers most of North Carolina and a portion of south-central Virginia.
“The FY20 [fiscal year 2020] budget proposal allows the Wilmington District to execute essential O&M [operations and maintenance] activities on our Civil Works projects. It reflects a slight decrease over last year’s proposal, mostly due to critical non-routine work completed at a few of our lake projects in FY19,” Wilmington District Commander Colonel Robert J. Clark said in the release.
The president's annual budget proposal, presented to Congress, is just the start of federal budget negotiations.
"Like each year’s presidential budget, the proposed FY20 budget begins a process that includes action by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and results in an appropriations bill to be enacted into law before final funding amounts are known," the release stated.
Trump's budget proposal covers the period Oct. 1, 2019, through Sept. 30, 2020, the federal fiscal year.