Updated: Wednesday, 18 Feb 2009, 7:55 AM EST
Published : Monday, 16 Feb 2009, 4:03 PM EST
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Local Michigan governments from Adrian to Zeeland are hoping to get a chunk of the federal stimulus package awaiting President Barack Obama's signature.
Exactly how much money from the $787 billion stimulus passed Friday will make its way to Michigan over the next couple of years, and exactly how the money will be distributed, is yet to be determined. But cities, universities, schools and other public agencies have been compiling wish lists for weeks in anticipation.
Many of them are likely to be disappointed. Only a fraction of thousands of possible projects costing several billion dollars may eventually be paid for through the stimulus plan, enacted in hopes of jumpstarting a stalled economy.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm's administration is expected to make a list of potential Michigan projects available soon after the package is signed into law. But it may take a while for the state to determine how much money it has discretion to allocate and what conditions must be met to get the cash.
Michigan could get about $18 billion overall through the stimulus package including all spending, tax breaks and boosted unemployment benefits, according to the liberal think tank Center for American Progress.
Michigan may get about $7 billion in aid for projects including community services grants, budget stabilization, dislocated workers, Medicaid, schools and homelessness prevention, according to estimates from Federal Funds Information for States -- a service of the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures. More than $1 billion should be headed to Michigan for infrastructure projects such as highways and bridges, public transit and water projects, according to the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
A sampling of what might be on the public agency wish list is already available. The Michigan Municipal League recently compiled a list of more than 1,200 infrastructure projects totaling more than $3.3 billion for consideration.
Adrian, a southeast Michigan city of more than 21,000, is first on the organization's alphabetical list.
"You talk about `shovel ready' projects? We're ready," City Administrator Dane Nelson said. "Probably any local government in the state could spend a lot of money to catch up on projects."
Adrian lists more than $7 million in long-sought, potential projects related to city government and other public offices. City Hall could be moved into a larger, historic bank building in the heart of downtown. The police department could get much-needed new digs with more space and better tools to fight crime. The library's front entrance -- boarded up since it nearly collapsed almost two years ago -- could be repaired.
"Everybody has to come in through the back door," Nelson said of the library.
Adrian officials thought they had figured out how to pay for the improvements, without raising taxes, well before the federal stimulus deal materialized. But then the economy worsened. Property tax revenues and income from city investments dwindled, and bond financing options became unattractive.
Just about every city and township on the Michigan Municipal League report lists road, water or sewer projects they would like to have done through the federal stimulus plan.
Birch Run's wish list includes $1.2 million for extending a streetscape beautification project around Interstate 75. Birmingham would take $7 million for construction of a transit center, including the relocation of an existing train station, and another $12 million for construction of a 300-plus space parking structure.
Other requests are more modest. Cadillac lists a $337,000 project to reconstruct portions of three heavily traveled residential streets and another $239,000 for residential roads near a hospital. Menominee would repair and sealcoat a cemetery roadway for $100,000.
Traffic safety improvements in Canton, water main upgrades in Caro, airport improvements in Charlevoix and sewer repairs in Crystal Falls are all on the list.
Obama wants to see some development of alternative energy. Lansing lists $7 million in what is labeled as wind turbine deployment and $2 million for solar energy deployment. Taylor lists $10 million for a wind farm.
East Lansing lists an $180,000 project for reclamation of trees damaged by the emerald ash borer. Reed City would repaint an old water tower for $200,000, while Sterling Heights would buy a tandem axle snow plow for $150,000. A few cities and townships would improve parks or connect trails where residents walk or bike along rivers or scenic areas.
Some of the projects are expected to create jobs. Overall, Granholm has said the legislation would create more than 100,000 jobs in the state.