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Story Archives: Stimulus projects eyed for Concordia
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|Stimulus projects eyed for Concordia|
Local leaders aren't sure how much stimulus money will filter down to Concordia Parish, but all say there are plenty of projects that need funding.
Police Jury President Melvin Ferrington said the Jury could use the money for road and drainage projects as well as for improvements to the old and new courthouses.
Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin says the town's sewer system needs major work.
In Vidalia, Mayor Hyram Copeland said infrastructure improvements, particularly for sewer and water, are on his wish list.
Copeland was in on a 45-minute conference call Monday with Sen. Mary Landrieu and the mayors of 12 of the largest municipalities in the state.
"We all told her our needs and were told that guidelines should be arriving soon," said Copeland. "Sen. Landrieu realizes that the smaller communities really need help."
Copeland said 70 percent of the state's 303 towns and cities have a population below 5,000.
"I feel that we have an excellent opportunity to acquire some of this funding," said Copeland. "These projects have to be 'shovel-ready.' We are in that position and we appreciate Sen. Landrieu's help."
In Ferriday, McGlothin said "we could use the money to rehab our sewer lines on the east side of town and for repair to four lift stations."
He said there were "collapsed lines that we're going to have to repair or replace. This is one thing that the stimulus money could provide for Ferriday and this would be about a $1 million project."
Meanwhile, Ferrington said he and other jurors are awaiting the guidelines to see just what projects will be funded.
"We're looking to our state association for help on this," said Ferrington.
Dan Garrett, general counsel for the Louisiana Police Jury Association, said there's "nothing in the federal bill that dictates how this funding is allocated. Discussions are ongoing."
He said the funding will be sent to the state and then disbursed appropriately.
"We may see it funneled through a supplement appropriations bill early on in the legislative session," he said. "The notion is to get this money on the ground as fast as possible."
President Barack Obama said his economic recovery package, recently approved by Congress, is designed to create and sustain millions of private sector jobs, strengthen national infrastructure and reduce taxes for families and businesses. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is estimated to create or sustain 50,000 Louisiana jobs.
Landrieu said the legislation directs billions of dollars to Louisiana projects and programs, and the state will benefit from additional tax relief for individuals and small businesses.
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