Cities, agency prepare for second federal stimulus bill

Metro CEO Art Leahy included this item in his daily email to staff on Friday:

Proposed Second Federal Stimulus Bill

On December 16, 2009, the House passed a second fiscal stimulus bill,  H.R. 2847. The Senate will begin consideration of their version of a stimulus bill later this month and will likely introduce its own proposal. If the newly legislated funding is similar to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that was enacted last February, projects eligible for the stimulus funding would need to be ready for award and meet Board approvals.

We received a request from Caltrans to submit a list of projects to them by January 15, 2010 which could be awarded within 120 days. Staff compiled a draft list of projects (Attachment) including a few from local jurisdictions. However, due to the limited time to submit the project list, few cities were able to compile project lists prior to the submittal deadline. Staff is currently working with the Local Municipal Operators and Cities to receive additional project requests from them as well. Once the guidelines for the proposed second federal stimulus bill have been finalized and the list of projects has been developed, staff will submit them for Board approval.

The draft list thus far includes a number of small projects but also some big ones, including a request for $432 million for construction of the Gold Line Foothill Extension light rail line, $511 million for a carpool lane on the 5 freeway between the 134 and 118 freeways and $550 million for carpool and truck lanes on the 5 north of the 14 freeway.

Here’s a pretty good breakdown by the New York Times of broad categories of spending in the $787-billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed into law last February. That bill provided about $1 billion to Metro and transportation programs in cities in Los Angeles County. One big purchase made by Metro was spending $93 million on 150 new buses; funds also went to the Gold Line Eastside Extension.

Here’s a link to the federal stimulus bill website that allows you to track where funds have thus far been spent. There’s a tab in the middle of the page that allows you to type in your zip code to see where money was spent locally. If you want to see info about money received by Metro, the agency’s zip code is 90012.

Categories: Policy & Funding

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