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Stimulus funds coming to a city near you?


March 25, 2009
Since President Obama passed the $787 billion stimulus bill in February, states have been working furiously to try and get all those funds appropriated for various projects. Indiana received $4.3 billion and Gov. Mitch Daniels intends to use all of it.

A total of $658 million designated to highways and transportation projects must be distributed throughout the state. Of that amount, the Indiana Department of Transpor-tation will receive $440 million to work on state and federal highways. Local agencies (counties and towns) will receive a total of $198 million to put toward various infrastructure and roadway projects. The last $20 million has been set aside for transportation enhancement projects, which include trails, sidewalks and traffic signals. It is estimated that these federal stimulus funds will create 11,480 jobs.

INDOT has already appropriated most of its funds in two lists released on the INvest Indiana Web site, www.in.gov/gov/INvest. A third and final list is expected later this month.

So far, INDOT has not used any federal stimulus funds in Harrison, Crawford or Floyd counties. However, the surrounding counties of Dubois, Orange and Washington have all had INDOT projects receive stimulus funds during February and March.

The money going toward local agencies could technically not come until 2010, but a press release from the governor stated that these funds will be appropriated as quickly as possible.

In order to decide where the funds go, municipalities and counties were to submit economic recovery project surveys earlier this month, detailing what infrastructure projects could benefit from stimulus funds.

In Harrison County, the Lanesville connector road, the intersection of Corydon-Ramsey and Sival roads and the Rothrock Mill project were all submitted on the survey.

In Crawford County, various connector roads and sidewalks throughout the county were listed as were the upcoming Milltown and Alton bridge projects.

The Town of Georgetown filled out a whole laundry list of projects at a special meeting back in February. The list included various street and sidewalk repairs as well as a request for money to restore the old town hall.

Georgetown has also put its name in for stimulus funds related to water projects in regards to the town's proposed wastewater treatment plant.

In addition to receiving federal stimulus funds, the state legislature may be constructing a stimulus of its own. The Indiana House passed a $1 billion stimulus budget last month that would send $500 million to cities and towns throughout Indiana. However, the bill has been met with resistance in the Senate, and Daniels has made no indication that he would pass such a budget.

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