Wednesday, February 11, 2009

City Prepares for Stimulus Funding

The City of Richmond is preparing for the onset of anticipated federal funds as the economic stimulus legislation, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, has been approved in both chambers of the United States Congress. Now that a version of the plan has passed both the House and Senate, a final compromise can be crafted and is expected to become law early next week.

The plan is designed to create jobs, jumpstart growth and lay the foundation for future economic growth. Cities and localities across the country have begun to identify "shovel-ready" projects that can qualify for the funds when they become available. Mayor Dwight Jones and city officials have identified as many as 38 projects that may be eligible for such funding. The city also plans to submit its list of projects to the newly launched website being hosted by Governor Timothy M. Kaine, which is designed to collect potential funding ideas.

"We're ready to move forward on many projects that will put people to work," said Mayor Jones. "It's unclear which funds will come directly to the city and which will come through the state channels, but we are covering all bases," he continued. For transportation alone, Mayor Jones has identified over $75 million in shovel ready projects that could move forward quickly. Transportation projects include: paving programs, road and bridge projects and resurfacing and widening improvements. Green initiatives identified for possible funding total
more than $35 million and parks improvements total almost $10 million. Housing infrastructure projects that would be eligible for the stimulus funds total over $6 million. Water improvement projects could total as much as $138 million, including work on main water lines to provide wholesale water service to other localities; an ongoing revenue generator for the City of Richmond.

"We are ready to act quickly and will be aggressive in securing these funds when they become available to cities," said Mayor Jones.

Contact: Tammy Hawley, (804) 646-3110