Cities consider how to use stimulus funds
City officials in Del Mar and Solana Beach are pondering how to spend federal economic stimulus funds earmarked for road and other infrastructure projects.
But that’s difficult considering they’re not certain exactly how much money they’re going to be getting, an issue ultimately to be decided by the state legislature.
“It could be around $15,000 in Del Mar though that could go all the way up to $100,000 depending on whether there’s a change in the way Sacramento handles stimulus money, how it will get distributed to local governments,” Del Mar Mayor Crystal Crawford said.
Solana Beach could receive up to $246,776 in federal stimulus funds, and there’s no shortage of ways that money could be spent, said City Manager David Ott.
“We have several projects we’ve handed in that have the potential to be used for that money ranging from concrete pavement repairs at eight different locations to traffic signal battery backup systems,” Ott said.
He added there are other projects in the mix such as pavement replacement projects and street improvements including a curb, gutter and sidewalk project in Eden Gardens.
“There’s quite a few variations,” he said. “Depending on what amount we get, we could do multiple projects. Some of those projects are approximately $250,000.”
Under the existing state transportation funding allocation system, Mayor Crawford added Del Mar would get the lower-end figure of $15,000. But under a new legislative proposal, she added, a portion of those monies would come directly to the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the region’s transportation planning agency, before being distributed to cities.
She said SANDAG has a different way of allocating transportation- and infrastructure-related funding which parcels money out to cities according to factors such as size and population.
“If the legislature acts to change the rules we might get $100,229,” Crawford said.
A spending plan for federal highway stimulus money that would pay for two major highway projects and a long list of regional local road improvements was accepted by SANDAG’s Transportation Committee last week and recommended to its Board of Directors. The spending plan is expected to create 1,500 local jobs.
Federal stimulus funding was made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, signed into law by President Barack Obama in February.
The act provides the San Diego region with $127 million in highway funds. SANDAG’s plan calls for splitting those funds 60-40, with 60 percent going to highways and 40 percent to the county and its 18 individual cities.
One of the largest projects proposed for funding is $18.1 million to build an interchange at Interstate 805 and Carroll Canyon Road.
The county economic stimulus plan will go to SANDAG’s Board of Directors for consideration on March 27.
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