If the State’s list of shovel-ready projects is accurate, Belmont stands to receive at least a portion of the federal bailout money that will soon be headed to Massachusetts from Washington D.C. — but how many of the “shovel ready” projects in town will get funded is unclear.
With the federal bailout bill nearing completion, Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration is swinging into high gear to make sure that billions of dollars in federal aid that are coming to Massachusetts find a home. In recent months put together a 200+ person task force, working under Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, to comb through eligible projects. That task force assembled, and has now published, a list of hundreds of so-called “shovel ready” projects in the state that could receive funding. With the hangover of Big Dig excess still weighing the state down, Patrick also named real estate developer Jeffrey Simon as the state’s Director of Infrastructure Investment to oversee how the federal money is allocated. The state has also set up a Web page, www.mass.gov/recovery, to serve as a clearing house for its efforts.
So how does Belmont fare? It’s not clear. A review of both the raw list of projects submitted to the state, and the state’ s list of “reviewed” projects submitted by its own agencies is a starting point, and suggest that Belmont could stand to gain considerably from the bailout, if even a small number of the proposed projects are funded.
Town officials submitted no fewer than 17 shovel ready projects with a price tag north of $30 million. Road, sewer and other improvement to municipal buildings top the list and range from a $14m project to rebuild 2.5 miles of new roadway and improved drainage along Trapelo Rd. and Belmont St., to a $35 request for a fan to blow exhaust out of the town’s municipal garage.
Belmont also shows up in the list of shovel ready projects submitted by state agencies. That list includes a new bike/pedestrian trail to Alewife garage for $5.6 million (yes we can! yes we can!) and $800,000 of environmental cleanup on the grounds of the Metropolitan State Hospital on the Waltham/Belmont line.The state list also includes generic descriptions of projects to improve energy efficiency in public schools. Some of those may refer to projects, such as construction of the new Wellington Elementary or improvements to the High School and other facilities, but its impossible to tell.
B2 will have more coverage on this including, hopefully, some more details on how the state will begin paring down its list of approved projects and allocating funding!