Ohio gets 9,200 applications for stimulus moneyWritten by Associated Press | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Gov. Ted Strickland has received about 9,200 applications from government agencies, businesses and individuals seeking money from the federal stimulus package.
The Toledo Zoo wants $10.5 million for a new exhibit with elephants and hippos and Cincinnati wants $69 million for a streetcar system.
But exactly who gets the money remains unclear. Strickland and the state Legislature have not agreed on a selection process.
Strickland spokeswoman Amanda Wurst said there is a general agreement with legislative leaders to use existing state commissions and agencies to spend or allocate federal money.
Ohio is getting $8.2 billion in federal aid, and Strickland has said much of the money _ about $5.8 billion _ will be used to help balance the state’s budget. That includes more than $2 billion for highways, ports and other infrastructure projects.
Strickland has said he wants the rest to go toward projects that will put people to work and contribute to the long-term benefit of the state.
The thousands of applications posted at www.recovery.ohio.gov include ideas for massive wind farms, solar panel manufacturing facilities, warehouse construction, local sidewalk and guardrail projects, and the hiring of local police officers.
Wurst said the government Web site will be updated continuously and that there no cutoff time for submitting proposals.
Many are for traditional projects, such as a sewer replacement in Brecksville that would create eight jobs and cost $210,000. Parma wants $2.6 million for sanitary sewer construction, which would create 50 jobs.
The list also includes the Willard & Kelsey Solar Group, which is asking for $100 million to apply toward a $1.2 billion, low-cost solar panel manufacturing park in Perrysburg that it claims will create jobs for 3,696 employees with auto manufacturing-type skills.
Others are in jest.
Mike Budzynski applied in for $100 million to build a 120-foot gold statue of President Barack Obama in Loveland, about 15 miles northeast of Cincinnati.
Budzynski told The Columbus Dispatch that the project for his fictitious company was born out of frustration with Republicans and Democrats.
“When you look at the amount of money this country owes, I just don’t know where it’s going to come from,” he said.