LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Local Michigan governments from Adrian to Zeeland are hoping toget a chunk of the federal stimulus package awaiting PresidentBarack Obama's signature.
Exactly how much money from the $787 billion stimulus passedFriday will make its way to Michigan over the next couple of years,and exactly how the money will be distributed, is yet to bedetermined. But cities, universities, schools and other publicagencies have been compiling wish lists for weeks inanticipation.
Many of them are likely to be disappointed. Only a fraction ofthousands of possible projects costing several billion dollars mayeventually be paid for through the stimulus plan, enacted in hopesof jumpstarting a stalled economy.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm's administration is expected to make alist of potential Michigan projects available soon after thepackage is signed into law. But it may take a while for the stateto determine how much money it has discretion to allocate and whatconditions must be met to get the cash.
Michigan could get about $18 billion overall through thestimulus package including all spending, tax breaks and boostedunemployment benefits, according to the liberal think tank Centerfor American Progress.
Michigan may get about $7 billion in aid for projects includingcommunity services grants, budget stabilization, dislocatedworkers, Medicaid, schools and homelessness prevention, accordingto estimates from Federal Funds Information for States -- a serviceof the National Governors Association and the National Conferenceof State Legislatures. More than $1 billion should be headed toMichigan for infrastructure projects such as highways and bridges,public transit and water projects, according to the U.S. HouseCommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
A sampling of what might be on the public agency wish list isalready available. The Michigan Municipal League recently compileda list of more than 1,200 infrastructure projects totaling morethan $3.3 billion for consideration.
Adrian, a southeast Michigan city of more than 21,000, is firston the organization's alphabetical list.
"You talk about `shovel ready' projects? We're ready," CityAdministrator Dane Nelson said. "Probably any local government inthe state could spend a lot of money to catch up on projects."
Adrian lists more than $7 million in long-sought, potentialprojects related to city government and other public offices. CityHall could be moved into a larger, historic bank building in theheart of downtown. The police department could get much-needed newdigs with more space and better tools to fight crime. The library'sfront entrance -- boarded up since it nearly collapsed almost twoyears ago -- could be repaired.
"Everybody has to come in through the back door," Nelson said ofthe library.
Adrian officials thought they had figured out how to pay for theimprovements, without raising taxes, well before the federalstimulus deal materialized. But then the economy worsened. Propertytax revenues and income from city investments dwindled, and bondfinancing options became unattractive.
Just about every city and township on the Michigan MunicipalLeague report lists road, water or sewer projects they would liketo have done through the federal stimulus plan.
Birch Run's wish list includes $1.2 million for extending astreetscape beautification project around Interstate 75. Birminghamwould 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 parkingstructure.
Other requests are more modest. Cadillac lists a $337,000project to reconstruct portions of three heavily traveledresidential streets and another $239,000 for residential roads neara hospital. Menominee would repair and sealcoat a cemetery roadwayfor $100,000.
Traffic safety improvements in Canton, water main upgrades inCaro, airport improvements in Charlevoix and sewer repairs inCrystal 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 turbinedeployment 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 treesdamaged by the emerald ash borer. Reed City would repaint an oldwater tower for $200,000, while Sterling Heights would buy a tandemaxle snow plow for $150,000. A few cities and townships wouldimprove parks or connect trails where residents walk or bike alongrivers or scenic areas.
Some of the projects are expected to create jobs. Overall,Granholm has said the legislation would create more than 100,000jobs in the state.
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