MORPC Prepares for Second Federal Stimulus Funding
Solicitation for Stimulus Transportation Projects
MORPC is now taking project applications for a potential second transportation stimulus funding allocation. These would only be for any funds sub-allocated to MORPC by a second stimulus law. See background section below on the current status of the legislation. Also, see the MORPC process document for additional details on the current plans to solicit and select projects. There is no deadline for project submittals at this time. This will be determined if/when a second transportation stimulus becomes law.
Transportation Stimulus Project Submittal Form
Check this website for additional updates.
February 10 Transportation Stimulus Workshop
On Wednesday, February 10, MORPC staff hosted a workshop to discuss allocating any possible new federal transportation stimulus funding—known as "Jobs for Main Street":
The workshop featured
- A brief recap of the original transportation stimulus program
- Current status and provisions of the proposed law
- Perspectives from federal and state officials
- A discussion on how to allocate any funding MORPC may receive from the new transportation portion of the program, concluding with a consensus on how to proceed
See the agenda, PowerPoint slides, and workshop summary.
This workshop was not intended to discuss specific projects, but more the strategy of how to proceed.
Thanks to everyone that was able to attend. A revision to the draft process that was discussed at the workshop has been prepared. The major changes based on your feedback are to be open to additional projects that could meet a short-term (90-day) deadline and to consider another regional resurfacing program. More information will be provided later on how regional benefits will be evaluated.
MORPC will work closely with its member communities and federal and state officials to bring forward the best program of projects under the requirements of the law. If you have any questions, please contact Robert Lawler (614.233.4160) or Nick Gill (614.233.4151).
Background (updated 3/8/10)
In mid-December the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.2847, the Jobs for Main Street Act, 2010, which provides transportation funding similar to that provided by the first stimulus, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). As in ARRA, the House version contains use-it-or-lose-it provisions, calling for 50% of the highway funding to be out the door quickly—in fact, in even less time than required by ARRA. The other half would need to be out in a year. None of the projects funded would be exempt from any federal requirements. This means the projects funded through this bill would still need to follow the ODOT process. ODOT and FHWA already communicated with MORPC about the possibility of this funding and the need to prepare to use it.
The Senate has not acted on this legislation nor even introduced any legislation that would provide the kind of stimulus funding discussed here. Congress did pass legislation that provided for the continuation of existing programs for 30 days, but no funding beyond that. It appears Congress may be ready to pass a $17.5 billion jobs package first proposed in the Senate, but, while it continues existing transportation programs through the end of calendar year 2010, it does not include any additional funds for transportation. A $150 billion jobs bill is beginning discussion in the Senate, but it is not clear if this contains any additional funding for transportation. Early indications are that it does not.
An unreleased Senate version of the legislation cut highway funding nearly in half, slightly decreased transit funding, and increased funding for rail. The legislation includes funding for other programs, as well.
If the legislation passes, MORPC expects to have funding to allocate to local projects, although it will be heavily constrained. Member communities need to identify projects that already are or can be made ready through the ODOT process to meet this schedule (in, perhaps, as little as 30 to 45 days for half and a year for the other half).
Questions? Contact MORPC at email@example.com or call 614.228.2663.