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How is the stimulus money being spent locally?

TRI-COUNTY AREA—Since Feb. 17, 2009, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds have been allocated to communities across the country.
To be approved for the funds, projects had to create jobs, spur economic growth, and make government spending more transparent. Since Feb. 17, a number of projects have been approved, funded, and some even completed locally. The federal Web site that lists the projects by state is The award recipients range from municipalities, schools and companies.
The schools are getting ARRA funds, allocated in four different categories: fiscal stabilization, Title 1 (funds to help disadvantaged students), Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and preschool grants for children with disabilities. According to the Web site, Penn Yan was awarded $797,865, Dundee $646,627 and Hammondsport $360,483.  preschool grants for children with disabilities. According to the Web site, Watkins Glen was awarded $1,249,960 and Odessa-Montour was awarded $610,280. The money is given to the schools as it is spent.
Broken down, Penn Yan was awarded:
• $522,252 for stabilization.
• $263,461 for IDEA.
• $12,152 for preschool.
Dundee was awarded:
• $342,009 for stabilization.
• $156,000 for Title 1.
• $142,059 for IDEA.
• $6,553 for preschool.
Watkins Glen was awarded:
• $962,842 for stabilization.
• $111,172 for Title 1.
• $168,189 for IDEA.
• $7,757 for preschool.
Odessa was awarded:
• $388,104 for stabilization.
• $109,913 for Title 1.
• $107,313 for IDEA.
• $4,950 for preschool.
Hammondsport was awarded:
• $228,162 for stabilization.
• $56,200 for Title 1.
• $72,765 for IDEA.
• $3,356 for preschool.
Route 54A, between Branchport and Penn Yan, is an ARRA project. The project was authorized for $5,938,100 Nov. 20, 2009. The total project was listed at costing $6,378,100. According to the Department of Transportation Web site, the project is expected to be completed by A. L. Blades & Sons, Inc. in the fall of this year.
Another Yates County road project getting ARRA funds is 1.8 miles on County Route 32 in Jerusalem. According to the DOT, it is currently in pre-construction preparation.
Existing pavement will be overlaid to provide a smooth surface and prolong the life of the pavement. The estimated start is May 1 and the projected cost is $233,929.
In Schuyler, that includes two projects completed already. They are; resurfacing 2.5 miles of County Route 16 in Dix, and replacing the Route 224 bridge over Catharine Creek in Montour Falls. The County Route 16 project received $270,000 and was completed in the fall of 2009, by A. L. Blades & Sons, Inc. The Route 224 bridge project started Jan. 13, 2010 and will be completed this year. It was awarded $1,795,935 to cover the $2,131,188 total cost.
Yates County is also included in a $2,310,777 award for resurfacing 30 miles of Routes 14, 14A, 245 and 409 in Schuyler and Yates Counties. According to the DOT Web site, the project is supposed to start in early March.
Another joint project Yates is included in, is one for hazardous tree removal. The project was approved for $314,734 and covers Schuyler, Yates, Steuben, and Allegany Counties. Work started Dec. 15, 2009, and is currently underway.
The village of Penn Yan has also been using ARRA funds to hire two part-time patrol officers. They were awarded $129,017 to improve law enforcement investigations. In the village’s proposal, they said the funds would be used to supplement existing staff for additional patrols, follow-up investigations and surveillance for drug related investigations.
Penn Yan hired the first officer Oct. 13 and the second officer Dec. 29. In a progress report, the village said the process had initially taken longer than expected to start. They also reported getting livescan fingerprinting equipment in December. Penn Yan expects to have it online in the first quarter of 2010.
Finger Lakes Community and Migrant Health, which has an office in Penn Yan, was another recipient with three grants. Mary Zelazny, CEO, explained the Penn Yan location would benefit from new, digital equipment. She added they hired 21 people with the stimulus money. Zelazny said Yates County Community Health is looking to relocate its offices, as well as negotiate more space elsewhere.
The town of Hector was awarded $56,250. The ARRA funds have been used to increase maintenance of important roads with the Finger Lakes National Forest in Hector. Jerri Marr, Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forest supervisor, said the funds will continue to be used to remove encroaching brush, cleaning out ditches and shaping and graveling road surfaces.
“Funds will also enable work to be done as outlined in cooperative road maintenance agreements with the towns of Covert and Hector,” said Marr in the forest’s annual report.

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