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Monday, January 12, 2009

The Huntsville Stimulus Package: $570 Million and Growing

The Huntsville Times in today's edition did a special report on Huntsville's wish list of projects included in a "Main Street Stimulus" plan created by the US Conference of Mayors. Huntsville alone has a total of $568,762,000 in projects on the list. And while most of it probably won't ever get the President's signature, it does give us a good look at the city's "wish list" of projects in the next couple of years.

For downtown, the city list includes three new parking garages, the Gateway Place senior housing facility in the former Councill Court area, and a "Courthouse Square Improvement Project." The list has revitalization projects (totaling $24.5M) in the Terry Heights and Lowe Mill neighborhoods, two inner west side areas that have been targeted for gentrification in recent years. It includes new parks, infrastructure improvements, and a grocery store/food co-op in Terry Heights.

And for whatever reason, either intentional or unintentional, the Times did not list any of the projects labeled as "Transit." So here they are:
  • 15 new buses with alternative fuel capability: $3.75M (the city currently has 15 city buses, and has talked about replacing them gradually with biodiesel-powered buses)
  • Replace the city's two trolley buses: $500,000
  • Updated transit center message board: $15,000
  • Bus camera systems for all 15 buses: $75,000
  • Replace bus stops and system maps: $25,000
  • 25 new bus shelters: $125,000
You can look at the complete list of projects for the city of Huntsville here.

And on a side note-- Edwardsville, Alabama (population 194 according to Census estimates) has a $375 million list of projects, ranging from $43,000 for solar panels on its city hall and senior center to $37 million for an "electric solar enhanced railroad line for support of local vineyards and tourism" that would dual as "transport for local schools."

Whether or not any of this money should come out of a stimulus package intended for rebuilding this nation's failing infrastructure, I'll leave that up to your own opinion.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

How is any of this stimulating the economy. It's wasting money. None of the items you list create jobs. At least if they build roads, people are hired to do the work. Just what Huntsville needs--new busses that will run empty nearly all the time. What a joke.

Dave Stewart said...

This is not a stimulus. It's mostly a city "beautification" list.

Anonymous said...

goodness,
The stimulas plan was to create jobs for the community. The city's request list is pretty much a joke...

How about money for more road work... extending 565 further east... instead of replacing buses maybe we should just add some to create jobs.... this is a pretty horrible list... Im all for making the Ville a true city but these "wishes" won't do it!!!

Huntsville_secede said...

Why the heck isn't winchester road or 72 east overpasses on there. Thats needed more than most of the stuff on this list!