Hundreds of millions of dollars are expected to flow into Kentucky from the federal stimulus package, and local governments are preparing to handle the influx of cash.
Governor Steve Beshear and Mayor Jerry Abramson have set up the Kentucky At Work and Louisville At Work teams to oversee the distribution of stimulus dollars, 3.2 billion of which are expected to come to the commonwealth.
Some of that money will go to projects in cities. Abramson says the Louisville At Work team will manage those funds locally, and it will apply for the millions of dollars that will be available from competitive grants.
“That’s why we thought it was so important to have a grants team supporting our Louisville at work project that ultimately will support those efforts and help in each one of those categories where appropriate,” he says.
Louisville officials expect the city will receive more than 100 million dollars of funding outside of the grants.Beshear says the money will be spread out over the next 28 months, and new jobs may not be created until this summer. In the meantime, the governor says there are immediate benefits for unemployed Kentuckians.
“You’re talking about additional food stamp money, additional unemployment insurance money, additional weeks to be able to get that money,” he says. “And that’s immediate help for people so they that can buy food and pay for their prescription drugs and hopefully keep a roof over their head.”
Efforts are underway to ensure transparency for the local use of those funds.Abramson says whenever any of the money is spent, the city’s website will be updated.
“You’ll see who bid, you’ll see who was selected, you’ll see who paid, and you’ll see a lined column of how many jobs are created,” he says.
The state and the federal governments also have websites that will provide information on how the stimulus funds are spent.
Click here for the full audio of Mayor Abramson’s Louisville At Work announcement.