State officials say that Maine stands to receive approximately $900 million via that American Recovery and Reinvestment Act we've heard so much about. We asked around to see what various agencies plan to do with that money. Here are some of the notable responses:
• PORTLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS
$2.5 million for a new central kitchen
$700,000 on masonry restoration at Portland High School
$110,000 to deal with asbestos at Lyseth Elementary School
• DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
$20 million to expand drinking-water distribution systems
$2,813,000 for Head Start providers of early-childhood education
$500,000 toward senior-citizen meal programs
$589,000 for sexual-assault and domestic-violence victim services
• MAINE ARTS COMMISSION will distribute close to $300,000 to various organizations to be spent on job retention.
• PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION will get between $20 million and $27 million, most of which will be put toward Efficiency Maine's energy-efficiency programs.
• MAINE STATE POLICE is still deciding how and where it will spend its $6-9 million (possible recipients include the state's Drug Enforcement Agency, the Attorney General's office, or the STOP Violence Against Women program).
• The CITY OF PORTLAND (all projects total $96 million)
$12 million to eliminate Combined Sewer Overflow systems (a federal requirement that will cost more than $100 million when all is said and done; see "A Stormwater Popsicle," by Christian McNeil, April 11, 2008)
$1.5 million for computer and telephone upgrades
$8 million in energy-efficiency improvements to city buildings
$1 million for a bike-pedestrian link over Veterans Bridge
$2.4 million for Dougherty Field improvements — including skate-park construction
$1.2 million for a waterfront fire station and $7 million for fire station modernization on the mainland
$5 million for a Bayside bike-pedestrian trail (see "Planning a Promenade," by Deirdre Fulton, November 26, 2008)
$23 million for Jetport expansion (shovel-ready this spring)
$9.5 million for Ocean Gateway ($7 million to be spent on pier construction and $2.5 million on a pedestrian bridge)