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Published: Tuesday, 2/24/2009

Projects submitted for shovel ready funds

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Several Monroe County cities and townships have submitted shovel-ready projects for funding under the federal economic recovery plan.

The state is to receive about $7 billion from the $787 billion national stimulus plan signed into law last week by President Obama.

State Sen. Randy Richardville (R., Monroe) said he sent about 400 letters to county agencies, schools, and local governments for project lists.

Senator Richardville said the projects could help create thousands of jobs.

The sooner we stimulate the economy the better, he said.

Whiteford Township wants to use federal stimulus money to bring water service to residents.

Supervisor Pam Dressel said the township was contacted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in December to create plans for installing water lines.

The township has been working with the Monroe County Health Department and the state DEQ to address water contamination in the area for several years.

The project is expected to cost about $7.5 million.

David Kubiske, township engineer and owner of David Arthur Consultants in Dundee, said the waterline extension project would be an appropriate use of the stimulus money.

This is a public safety issue more than anything. We have been working on this for a couple years now. It truly is shovel ready, Mr. Kubiske said.

The Michigan Municipal League s $3.3 billion wish list of improvements statewide includes proposals for various sewage treatment plants and shoreline protection.

The league s priorities include a downtown streetscape project in Luna Pier.

Mayor Mary Liske said the city is asking for $3 million in improvements that are needed at the sewage treatment plant to address deficiencies in reducing phosphates and meeting pollution standards.

The city has also requested $2 million to pay for repairs to the lake shore dike system that was built in the 1980s.

It needs some maintenance. We have a section of a wall that is leaning and it could fail if we don t do something to shore it up, the mayor said.

The city is also going after $500,000 in federal funds to spruce up the downtown streets with new lamps, sidewalks, and landscaping.

Howard Penrod, managing director of the Monroe County Road Commissioner, said more than $37 million is being requested for various projects throughout the county.

The money would go toward rebuilding and repaving roads, installing guardrails and traffic signals and signs, and replacing structurally deficient culverts.

Mr. Richardville said proposals to fund drainage improvements in Bedford Township were submitted to his office for consideration.

The projects are the Lambertville Tile Drain and Swiss Garden Relief Drain.

Also, Bedford Public Schools is asking for federal funding to replace roofs and boilers at school buildings, and has proposed a five-kilowatt wind turbine at the high school to use in teaching vocational education classes about wind-power technology.

Petersburg Mayor Jim Holeman said plans for a downtown improvement project that the city already had on the drawing board was submitted for inclusion for federal stimulus money.

The city in Summerfield Township is asking for $90,000 to install new curbs and sidewalks to make the infrastructure compatible with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act in the downtown business district.

It would dress up downtown a little bit, Mayor Holeman said.

The city approved the project several months ago and decided to try to fund it with the stimulus money.



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