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Published: Friday, 1/30/2009

Mayor: Toledo ready to put stimulus money to work

Finkbeiner Finkbeiner
JETTA FRASER / THE BLADE Enlarge | Buy This Photo

A day after President Obama won House approval for an $819 billion economic recovery plan, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner reiterated that Toledo is ready to go to work on an ambitious list of projects if enough federal money flows its way.

"We are ready and we are able to take advantage of all the money available to the city," Mr. Finkbeiner said.

The mayor acknowledged that funding for Toledo's latest wish list - which totals $216,407,911 - would most likely not be granted, but said there were plenty of shovel-ready projects ready to go in 90 days or less that would help put unemployed and underemployed citizens back to work.

The mayor said the projects would generate hundreds of new jobs, further the rebuilding of the city, and give the national and local economies a boost.

Since part of the stimulus money would be awarded on the basis of population, he noted, the U.S. Census Bureau's upward revision of the city's numbers that he lobbied for would improve Toledo's chances.

The city's proposed projects include $6.2 million for bridge work, $45.8 million for streets, $84.6 million for utilities, $39 million for renewable energy, and $40.7 million for development.

The shovel-ready projects include improvements to Secor Road between Monroe Street and Laskey Road ($4.5 million), Wheeling Avenue sewer separation ($4.48 million), a Collins Park wind turbine project ($2 million), and a Marina District amphitheater ($2 million).

The mayor said the list of projects would take 10 years to complete without the federal money.

Mr. Finkbeiner said he looked forward to working with City Council as the specifics of the stimulus package evolved.

Last month, several council members chastised the mayor for submitting the city's initial wish list through the U.S. Conference of Mayors without their input.

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