Sunday, December 07, 2008

Fed funding for Cheshire's "shovel-ready" projects

Several weeks ago I began seeing reports that President-elect Obama intended to revive the sputtering economy with FDRonomics by inflating the money supply while running the printing presses 24/7 to fund a major public works program. Initially, I heard the funding would be targeted at "roads and bridges" that were "shovel-ready." But in the past week, I heard mention of the inclusion of "water and sewers."


Any of you know anyone with sewer projects? (Click here to see the current five-year capital budget and about $10 - 15 million in proposed sewer projects for the town.)

So this week I sent an email to the Town Manager and his staff. It was absolutely no surprise to me to learn the Wastewater Superintendent, Dennis Dievert, is way ahead of me on this. He foresaw the possible funding and has already gotten feedback from some of the critical players. But what feedback?

While Obama is not yet President and details still need to be determined, the likely scenario includes a fairly small window of time in which projects would need to be rolled out and funding would be received. A three month window is not out of the question. And of course, that means we need to have our ducks in a row.

So my hope is to fast track all projects possible. To that end, I'm hoping to schedule an Audit Committee meeting to discuss a "utilities audit" that will cover both energy and water. And I've spoken with the WPCA Chairman to ensure they're aware of possible funding. (I understand the outgoing WPCA-Council liaison, Elizabeth Esty, has also brought this possible funding to the attention of Town Hall.)

I think the main questions from a Council perspective are:

1) At what stage must a project stand for the federal government to provide funding? And

2) How much will it cost the town to get a project to that stage?

Tim White


Anonymous said...

We really need to get an energy audit of the schools done ASAP and prioritize the needed HVAC upgrades. This one boiler at a time approach is nonsense.

My fear is the "shovel ready" projects nationally will prove to be like the stuff the State Bond Commission funds, and we will borrow hundreds of billions from the Chi Coms to put astroturf fields and park gazeboes from sea to shining sea.

"Shovel ready" projects should be of lasting benefit; otherwise we are going to dig our financial graves

Anonymous said...

Chris Healy says the bonding candy store will be open for business this Friday. Evidently the need to renovate the Southington Drive-In is a pressing state priority despite the deepening recession

Anonymous said...

OT, but the Courant's parent firm is about to file for Ch 11 BK

Anonymous said...

Alteri has probably already contacted Obama and put the artificial turf ahead of the all efforts to get the economy going.

We could probably get some local Good Ole Boys to do it with a no bid contract.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe it. For about 20 years the town has planned to have a new post office with ground breaking just a couple of months off. By now we must at least have a set of plans to build from, after all its been ongoing for about 20 years - - - Let's get the post office project fast tracked with this.