Stimulus plan could help Alameda
As anyone who reads this blog may have guessed, the city has been, is and will be facing a budget crisis for the foreseeable future. But come January, we might get a little good news.
Congress and the incoming Obama administration are shaping a possible $500 billion to $600 billion stimulus package that may include money for a veritable cornucopia of local public works projects.
Anticipating a bill, city staff have assembled a comprehensive-looking list of more than 50 projects that could qualify for funds, including a number of road and sidewalk reconstruction projects and improvements for city parks, civic buildings and public housing. In all, the list includes about $67 million in projects.
Some big-ticket items on the list include restoration of the old Carnegie Library ($5.63 million), reconstruction of a portion of Harbor Bay Parkway ($5 million) and improvements to the Harbor Bay dike and seawall ($5 million), demolition and infrastructure improvements for Alameda Landing ($4.75 million) and construction of the Stargell Avenue extension, considered a “must” for moving Alameda Landing forward ($9 million of the $20 million project).
City staff stressed that there’s no bill yet, so this is all preliminary. But they are expecting that the to-be-created stimulus bill will resemble a similar package passed by the House of Representatives in the September. That would mean money for projects that create jobs, including transportation, infrastructure and energy efficiency (the city’s list includes solar panels for the roof of the main library).
If the bill is written as anticipated, the projects would need to start within 120 days of passage of the stimulus bill and be completed within two years, if I understand the release from the U.S. Conference of Mayors touting such a plan (third one on the press release list). They’ve got a list of projects from cities across America, by the way; Alameda’s list isn’t up there but check back in their update on Friday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told USA Today the House will pass a stimulus plan before Barack Obama’s inauguration; Congress is set to return to work on January 6.
UPDATE: Lauren Do’s got the entire list of items (and a way better headline), right here.