Friday, March 27, 2009

NYS Releases List Of Proposals For Use Of Stimulus Funds

Draft List Includes Artificial Reefs And A Model Ship Testing Facility

If you had nearly $25 billion dollars at hand -- as in the amount of federal dollars New York will receive under the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- how would you use it?

New York State's Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Cabinet has called for the submission of proposals, and, having received more than 14,000 project requests -- from towns, cities, villages, school districts, and ordinary citizens like you -- has now released a draft of what we call the Recovery Wish List.

Among the proposals submitted (and, again, these are only proposals), are $10.5 million for a "modern model ship testing facility at the Webb Institute," $200,000 to "create an artificial reef using old subway cars," and $105,000 for the "restoration of two Irish famine ships, the Bristol (no relation to Palin) and the Mexico."

Of course, not all wishes will or can be granted under the Act, nor will there be enough money to fund all projects submitted for consideration -- be they $115 million the construction of a medical school at Hofstra or $50,000 for Basement Water Remediation at the Gloversville (Fulton County) Public Library -- but many of the proposals, indeed most, are sound and worthwhile. [There's even merit to the restoration of famine ships and the creation of artificial reefs, but with limited resources, one must prioritize.]

Of interest locally, a proposal request of $2.9 million, designated as "Nassau County, Elmont Streetscapes," was submitted, as were hundreds of projects -- from bulkhead replacement to roadway restorations to the purchase of a transit trolley -- by Nassau County, school districts, and local municipalities.

Conspicuous by their absence are any project proposals submitted by the Town of Hempstead, America's largest, most blighted, and most patronizingly bloated township. [Well, at least we couldn't find any requests as we gleaned through the more than 14,000 submissions spread out over some 774 pages.] A road resurfacing, perhaps? "Downtown" revitalization, here and there? Not even a single request for a Victorian-style streetlamp. Maybe the Town Supervisor didn't get the memo!

Then again, the window of opportunity for Hempstead Town -- and for community organizations and civic-minded individuals -- to submit project-specific proposals for consideration remains open.

How and where in your community would you spend a share of that $25 billion? Add your project to the Recovery Wish List today!
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Click HERE to visit New York's economic recovery website.

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