February 12, 2009

Federal stimulus package: money for county roads

By Brenda L. Shelkey

The federal government is making an effort to stimulate the economy, but those words leave North Dakotans wondering how that has anything to do with this state. Recently, McLean County Auditor Les Korgel and McLean County Highway Department Superintendent Ron Wagner found out that it means money for McLean County. The North Dakota Department of Transportation notified the two men that Wagner needed to be prepared for a recovery or stimulus package ranging from 60 million to 200 million dollars for North Dakota. A portion of those monies would be at their disposal to be used for road infrastructure. The federal government presented four package options: a 60 million, 80 million, 120 million and 200 million dollar package. Each package is broken down with set amounts going to the state, cities, and counties depending on which package Congress decides to approve. Regardless of which package is approved, the state will receive 74.99 percent of that package, cities will receive 16.57 percent, and counties will receive 8.44 percent. The letter that Wagner received reads, "All indications are that these projects will be 100 percent federally funded," which means Wagner is to fully expect funding for the 200 million dollar package. In light of that information, North Dakota counties will receive $16,880,000 and the portion assigned to McLean County to spend on highway infrastructure is $426,752.



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