Monday, June 8, 2009

Billions in Stimulus Funds Released is Just Tip of Iceberg

Interesting news from Texas Department of State Health Services Funding Alert:

Billions in Stimulus Funds Released is Just Tip of Iceberg
It's been just over three months since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was signed into law, freeing up $787 billion in federal funds aimed at creating and saving jobs and stimulating a faltering national economy. Governmental entities at both the state and local levels will see millions and in some cases billions of dollars flow into their coffers. These are truly historic times.
During the last three-month period, newspapers across the country -- from local weeklies to suburban dailies -- have heralded the arrival of funding in their communities and in their states, from thousands of dollars to billions. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
However, in spite of all the publicity and the media hype, only seven percent of the federal stimulus funding has been released by the federal government. That will change very soon. Federal officials have a goal of releasing 70 percent of the funding by the end of next year.
After only three months, $88 billion has been obligated by federal agencies for mandatory and discretionary programs. That is a daily total of $1.1 billion in new spending that has been obligated each day since the bill was signed.
During the last 90 days, Texas ranked second only to California in total outlay of federal stimulus funds. California's totals are currently at $1.992 billion and Texas has collected $1.113 billion.
So, where is the money going? Where are the contracting opportunities? Who are the end users of the funds? How do contractors find the ultimate decision-makers?
Recently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a list of upcoming projects which included $418 million for 36 projects in Texas. This funding is designed for operation and maintenance projects, surveys, studies and construction projects.
The Army Corps allocated $25.1 million to dredge the Galveston Ship Channel to a newly authorized depth and $1.1 million is to be used to modernize various parks by paving roads, upgrading utility systems, constructing shelters and upgrading restrooms.
Construction at military bases as a result of ARRA funding will result in $2.18 billion in U.S. Department of Defense stimulus funding. Of that figure, $1.33 billion is set aside for replacement of hospitals, including one at Fort Hood near Killeen. Fort Bliss, near El Paso, is one of the military installations that will get new "warrior in transition" facilities that include barracks, administrative and operations facilities, and an assistance center.
A new $116 million federal courthouse to be built in Austin is one of the listed construction projects. There are two green building modernization projects valued at $170 million and more than a dozen other green building and energy projects worth millions from Laredo to Midland to Fort Worth.
The federal economic stimulus bill will create contracting opportunities in virtually every industry and for vendors of all types and sizes. The trickle-down effect will boost local and state economies -- because contractors who buy materials from local suppliers and hire their workers locally are putting dollars back into their local communities.
From Strategic Partnerships' Texas Government Insider e-mail, 5/22/09

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