Monday, January 4, 2010

Federal Stimulus Money At Work - Bay Area

By any other name, stimulus money is what it is: an infusion of government cash by either grant, low interest loan or contracted service. More than $1 billion from the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is flowing freely into the Bay Area, flooding university research coffers and boosting transportation projects such as the long-awaited Caldecott Tunnel expansion and the BART-Oakland Airport people mover, funding high-tech baggage screening equipment at San Francisco International Airport and improvements to Caltrain in San Mateo County. Money also is going to nearly every city in the region to help fund police services, boost Section 8 housing and upgrade infrastructure. Hundreds of arts groups, social researchers and private businesses are also receiving grants and low-interest loans.

The region is also receiving one of the largest individual awards in the country for green energy: a $535 million loan to Solyndra Inc. for the construction of a factory in Fremont where it will produce rooftop solar panels for commercial buildings. Company officials announced in late December they intend to take the company public to raise more capital to leverage against the loan, which the Department of Energy administers.  Other references:  German innovation: Improved system , loan to go public .

Top awards in each county
Alameda: $535 million loan from the Department of Energy to Solyndra of Fremont to develop more efficient solar panels for businesses.
Contra Costa: $615,236 Army Corps of Engineers contract to Abide International Inc. to make repairs to piers along the county waterfront.
Marin: $6.3 million Army Corps of Engineers contract to the Dutra Dredging Co. for maintenance dredging of several shipping channels.
Napa: $54 million Army Corps of Engineers contract to Suulutaasq Inc. to relocate tracks and a bridge used by the NapaWine Train as part of a flood control project.
San Francisco: $67 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration to the city for preventative maintenance and improvements to light-rail cars and other transit improvements.
San Joaquin: $41 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration to Caltrans for road improvements in Stockton.
San Mateo: $90 million Office of Science contract with Stanford to develop ultrafast scientific instruments.
Santa Clara: $47.5 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority for operation and capital improvements.
Solano: $7.6 million grant to the city of Vallejo from the Federal Transit Administration for restoration of the city ferry terminal.
Sonoma: $4.2 million grant to the city of Santa Rosa from the Federal Transit Administration for preventative maintenance on buses and improvements to bus shelters.
* Total includes money to the University of California, headquartered in Oakland, and a Caltrans district office that will be used for regional projects.

Submitted by Kathy Meeh

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