Mayors Submit Shopping List of Stimulus Projects

Monday, 22 Dec 2008 03:24 PM

By Dave Eberhart

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The U.S. Conference of Mayors has released its latest report on infrastructure projects that are “ready to go” in cities across the nation — ready to consume the Federal largesse promised as the mainstay of the President-elect’s economic stimulus package.

In a press release, the Conference noted that the huge inventory of suggested projects “meet local infrastructure needs, can be funded through existing federal channels, start quickly when funding is received, and generate the significant numbers of jobs that are needed to counter the severe economic problems we face today in our metro areas and our nation as a whole.”

The Conference reported that in 641 cities of all sizes in all regions of the country, a

total of 15,221 local infrastructure projects are “ready to go.”

These projects represent an infrastructure investment of $96,638,419,313 that would be capable of producing an estimated 1,221,677 jobs in 2009 and 2010.

“The Conference of Mayors Main Street Economic Recovery Plan,” developed under the

leadership of Miami Mayor Manual A. Diaz, the president of the Conference, calls for federal investments in 10 sectors – from transit system fixes to refurbished schools — has been styled by that organization as the best template for creating jobs quickly.

President-elect Obama stated a goal of creating 2.5 million jobs in America by 2011 – a goal strongly endorsed by the nation’s mayors.

In its special report, Conference officials concluded that metro economies drive the national economy -- currently accounting for 86 percent of national employment, 90 percent of labor income, and 90 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

“It should be obvious that investing in Main Street metro economies is the most direct path to creating the jobs and stimulating the business that can begin to reverse the current economic downturn,” noted the report’s authors.

The Conference further concluded that there are many thousands of infrastructure projects in cities that can get underway immediately and be completed quickly — within one or two years.

“Projects in just 641 cities are capable of quickly generating well over 1.2 million jobs – almost half of the total 2.5 million jobs sought by the President-elect over the next two years,” noted the report.

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