PRESQUE ISLE (AP) — A key senate committee is signing off on funding for a new National Guard center in northern Maine.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved $17.5 million for the Army National Guard Readiness Center in Presque Isle. Collins says the money would be used to construct a more than 43,000-square-foot (3994-sq. meter) training facility that would replace an existing building she says isn’t up to modern standards.

Collins says the new center is “essential” for the 185th Engineer Support Company of the Maine National Guard to recruit and provide security.

The funding proposal was included in the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill that will now be considered by the entire Senate.

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