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How Our Area Fared Under Stimulus

By Assemblyman Will Barclay (R-Pulaski)

As the 2009 American Recover and Reinvestment Act winds down, the latest statistics that outline how that money has been spent have become available. The federal government maintains a web site which details where the money has gone and how it has been spent. New York State has awarded a total amount of $15.4 billion to date to help pay for construction projects, education, infrastructure, and healthcare. A combined 11,646 awards have been granted, either in the form of a contract, loan or grant throughout the state. The number of jobs the stimulus has created is debatable and varies depending on your source. More time is needed to properly gather the real job numbers.

Among other things, the federal $787 billion economic Recovery plan included provisions for immediate federal tax cuts and incentives, an expansion of unemployment benefits and other social entitlement programs. In addition, 28 federal agencies received Recovery funds to finance contracts, grants, and loans around the country.

We have entered the final quarter of stimulus payouts. This week, I wanted to give readers some idea how municipalities within the 124th Assembly District, which encompasses parts of Oswego and Onondaga counties, have fared in terms of stimulus dollars. Reporting of stimulus is organized according to zip codes and is often passed through various agencies. At www.recovery.gov Americans can view an interactive map with project details broken down according to each zip code. To find more details of a particular project, click on the dot(s) within the zip code. Detailed award descriptions are provided.

Here are some of the grants and/or contracts which have been awarded:

All school districts in our Assembly district received stimulus dollars. The hope was that this would save jobs at the local level, and keep and create educational programming without having to raise local taxes significantly.

· The Baldwinsville Central School District received has received $6.31 million over a two-year period.

· The Baldwinsville Public Library received $261,000 to create a job hub for 41 counties, targeting the unemployed. Technology will enable 24 hour resources as well as interactive video teleconferencing for job seekers and employers.

· West Genesee School District received almost $5.1 million.

· Almost $1 million is being invested to improve water, sewer and gas infrastructure in Camillus.

· OCWA received $6.1 million to improve and maintain infrastructure associated with drinking water. (Other stimulus dollars have been made available as well through the states’s Drinking Water State Revolving fund the ensure quality drinking water.)

· Jordan-Elbridge Central Schools received $1.5 million.

· Marcellus Central School District has received $2.1 million.

· Skaneateles Central Schools received almost $1.1 million.

· The Pulaski School District received about $917,000.

· The Fulton City School District has received $6.3 million.

· The City of Fulton received $2.5 million for weatherization programming and projects.

· Oswego County Opportunities received $2.49 million to fund the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program.

· The Town of Volney has received a combination of loans and grants amounting to $5.3 million to create water lines and districts.

· Northern Oswego County Health Services received almost $880,000 in Pulaski.

· The County of Oswego received almost $2.5 million to assist displaced workers. (This is only one of several awards the county has received.)

· The Oswego City School District received $3.85 million.

· Mexico Central School District has received roughly $2 million.

· Altmar-Parish-Williamstown School District received $1.73 million.

This is a partial listing; more than 121 awards, subawards, grants and loans can be found within the 11 zip codes alone in the Assembly district that I represent. Final data will become available Dec. 8. What we have to keep in mind is this funding will not be available after the end of the year. Some argue, including President Obama, that the stimulus package was a success because, if not enacted, the current recession would have been far worse. This, of course, is impossible to know. We do, however, know two things: 1.) Our area received a significant amount of federal dollars and; 2.) Because the stimulus money is now coming to an end, crafting this year’s state budget will be even more challenging because we will no longer have this federal money. What we can all agree on is our economy needs to improve and that, in turn, would solve many of the budgetary problems we’re seeing in these supposed post-recession times.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling (315) 598-5185.