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Friday, January 16, 2009

Local Governments Are Hoping to Get “Stimulated”

JCDC leads effort for Jackson County to present a combined approach to request of project funding from federal stimulus plan.
By Sid Riley

The third meeting in a series of meetings and workshops conducted by Bill Stanton of the Jackson County Development Council was held on Thursday, January 15, 2009 at Jim’s Buffet and Grill. Representatives of most of the county municipalities and agencies were in attendance, as well as representatives of Congressman Boyd’s office and Senator Nelson’s offices.

Stanton reviewed the declining national economy and the projected impact that decline will have on our communities and our service providing functions. He also reviewed the planned approach to implementing the national economic stimulus program which is in the process of going through congressional approval at this time.

He related the fact that traditionally in these types of federally generated programs, the large urban areas normally receive funding first, and usually enjoy the largest shares. “We will be competing regionally with proposals from Tallahassee, Dothan, Montgomery, Pensacola, Mobile, and other urban population centers. The governmental functions in these types of communities always have on-going projects in process, so they will thus be prepared to submit selected projects that are already “shovel ready” with much of the engineering, permitting, and prep work already completed.”

Stanton feels that through presenting a combined approach to requesting funding and already having a plan in place on a “proactive” approach, we will have a better chance of competing with these urban areas. For instance, instead of submitting water and storm water drainage projects from eight or nine different area communities, we would combine these into one, consolidated proposal. The same approach would be used in all project areas which are to be submitted.
The community and agency leaders were asked to have submission forms for their projects completed and e-mailed to the JCDC within the next few days. The next meeting will be a workshop approach were project priorities and format will be developed.

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