Economic Stimulus Funding Xenia Capital Improvements (but Not Jobs)

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Economic Stimulus) was approved by the House and Senate on February 13, 2009. According to the web site, the goal of the Economic Stimulus is to jumpstart the economy, create or save jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century.

How does the economic stimulus flow to communities like Xenia?

The money flows similar to the way federal money is disbursed, which is through the State of Ohio, then to local communities. The Governor’s Office has set up a website whereby communities and other entities can submit projects. Xenia, like many other cities submitted a wide range of projects that included street reconstruction, street extension, water line construction, park development and redevelopment, downtown streetscape, pedestrian and bicycle improvement and extension, retention of police manpower and high speed internet connection. The projects that were submitted to the Governor’s Office are then reviewed by the different State Departments. Projects that are considered “shovel ready” get priority funding.

Projects that have received funding in Xenia.

The Ohio Department of Transportation was the first Department to review and take action on project proposal. These projects were reviewed through the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC). This agency made recommendations on which projects to submit. The transportation and street enhancement related projects that were approved in Xenia include:

1. Innovation Way Road Extension – $2,267,551.00. This is located in a new industrial complex between Union Road and S.R. 380. The first phase of Innovation Way is currently being constructed. Economic Stimulus dollars will fund $2,267,551.00 of the $3,209,681 project cost.

2. East Main Street Streetscape Improvement between Whiteman Street and Collier Street – $209,348.00. This project involves replacement of trees, installation of ornamental lighting, replacement of sidewalks, curbs, installation of crosswalks and accessible ramps and provision of streetscape hardware like benches, trash receptacles, planters and banners.

3. Bicycle and Pedestrian Crossing Improvement from Xenia Station Hub to the Ohio-Erie Trail – $51,123.00. This involves improving the crosswalk with proper pavement marking, re-orienting of existing accessible ramps, widening of existing sidewalks on the east side of South Detroit Street between Hill Street and Washington Street and replacement of the catch basin with a storm manhole.

I could think of better ways to pay for those improvements to our city than to give Capitol Hill more reason to think in terms of ownership.

Source: Xenia Development Corner Newsletter, March 2009.

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