Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Age of Shovelry: How Stimulating

What does it take to be "shovel ready?"

The Mayor follows up his earlier description with more details. This was something the state sent out to the municipalities in his state.

While still very much a moving target, it looks clear that the [area] will be allocated some federal funds as part of the 2009 stimulus bill. I’ve heard a wide range of numbers. If the present language of the bill holds, it would be 100% federal share (no match required).

The first round looks to have a requirement that the funds are put under contract within 90 days of the bill being signed into law. Failure to put the funds under contract in 90 days would result in giving the funds back. This means only mature projects that either have or are very near environmental clearance and have the design mostly done (or perhaps a candidate for a design/build approach). The following projects from the [area] are the only ones that have any chance of meeting this criteria: [List]

The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss options and possibly decide on a conceptual approach for the [area] in anticipation of the bill. This meeting will invite representatives from jurisdictions with possible eligible projects. Ultimately, the full [area] board would need to amend the TIP, most likely at a early March Executive Council Meeting. However, with the accelerated schedule that comes with these funds, we cannot wait until then to decide on an approach. I’ve public noticed all the projects listed above as possibilities for a TIP amendment for additional federal funds. We have a 30 day public comment period.

The bill might end up including a second round of stimulus funds. Remaining funds from states that are unable to spend their funds will be reallocated to states and MPO’s that have eligible projects. The time-frame for spending those funds will be longer. We should have more time to gear up for the second round.

Reminds of the country song: "Let's Do Someting, Baby, Even If It's Wrong"

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