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Published: Thursday, 2/26/2009

Finkbeiner lobbies for share of stimulus

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER
Finkbeiner Finkbeiner
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Mayor Carty Finkbeiner and two associates lobbied top aides to Gov. Ted Strickland yesterday on projects in Toledo that could be funded by the $787 billion stimulus.

Mr. Finkbeiner said he made the case for more than $343 million worth of projects. "We had a good feeling at the finish of our day that we accomplished our mission in talking about what our priorities are," Mr. Finkbeiner said last night.

Atop the mayor's priorities are advanced energy projects.

Mr. Finkbeiner would like Toledo to receive

$2.5 million to install solar panels on the Fiberglas Tower and $3.5 million to make the building a model of energy efficiency.

Both of these are "shovel-ready" projects that could begin within 90 days of funding, he said. They also are consistent with his goal of making Toledo the state leader in solar en-ergy development, he said.

Mr. Finkbeiner was joined by two members of the Mayor's Joint Intermodal Task Force - Jerry Chabler, a member of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Board of Directors, and Richard Martinko, director of the University of Toledo's Intermodal Transportation Institute.

They met with John Haseley, Governor Strickland's chief of staff; Mark Shanahan, director of the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority and energy adviser to Governor Strickland; Jolene Molitoris, director of the Ohio Department of Transportation; Ronn Richards, Mr. Strickland's infrastructure czar and chief executive officer of The Cleveland Foundation, and Mark Barbash, director of Ohio Department of Development.

State Rep. Peter Ujvagi (D., Toledo) participated in an afternoon session, Mr. Finkbeiner said.

Mr. Finkbeiner said he also put in for $12 million in safety funds that would pay for 50 police officers and $10 million that would be used for a new fire station.

If federal funds were not forthcoming, the mayor said, he wanted to make sure Toledo had a good chance to land its fair share of the $1.57 billion the state would distribute.

A spokesman for the governor confirmed that the meeting with the Toledo delegation went well.

"John Haseley had the opportunity to meet with the mayor," Amanda Wurst said. "It was a good meeting.

"We have a great working relationship with the mayor, and we're always interested in working with the city of Toledo and the region as a whole."

Mr. Finkbeiner said he would make the trips.

"I plan to go to Columbus every 10 to 14 days to educate and enlighten, and to make sure Toledo gets it fair share," he said.

Staff writer Carl Ryan contributed to this report.

Contact Tom Troy at:

tomtroy@theblade.com

or 419-724-6058.



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