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State Officials Paring Down Stimulus Project Requests

Last updated on Friday, April 10, 2009

(UNDATED) - Indiana’s share of the federal stimulus money is $4.3 billion. Cities and counties have requested nearly six times that.

The state had hired Ball State to survey cities and counties about their needs from various weather disasters last year, which affected all but 10 counties. With that process in place, the state extended it to ask for suggestions for local stimulus projects. The result: a deluge of 9,000 programs totaling $25 billion.

Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman, who's overseeing the state's stimulus spending, says a lot of those projects are ineligible, either because they're not shovel-ready or they don't fit specific criteria the government spelled out.

After Ball State winnows those out, Skillman, Commerce Secretary Mitch Roob, Office of Management and Budget officials, and others will decide which ones should receive money.

Under the rules Congress included in the stimulus bill, all but a billion dollars of Indiana's share is reserved for education, Medicaid, and road projects. Just $200 million is free of any federal limits.

The Department of Transportation has already issued three lists of road and street projects it will build using stimulus money, with more to follow, while the Indiana Finance Authority has green-lighted some water and sewer projects.

The state has posted the complete list of local suggestions at www.invest.in.gov.

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