Maricopa County has been able to use more than 80 percent of its federal stimulus funds, and Youngtown has been the beneficiary of a significant chunk of that money.
Officials said Monday that while other governments across the United States struggled to spend their allotments of federal stimulus funds, Maricopa County is nearing its limit.
“A lot of states, cities and county governments had trouble coming up with shovel-ready projects,” Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox said. “But Maricopa County took this responsibility seriously. Before the stimulus package was even signed into law, we were thinking and planning.”
That planning has brought Youngtown some $445,000 to pave 11,848 linear feet of alleyways.
Youngtown is within the Maricopa County nonattainment area for PM-10 particulate pollution levels. The money was designated for communities who needed to correct the pollution problem but have few sources of revenue to do so.
Maricopa County is the fourth-largest county in the country and received 35 grants through the national Recovery Act, totaling $62.4 million. And of that, some $52.6 million has been spent.
The county applied for and received funding for a wide range of services, programs and projects. These include:
• The Adult Probation Department arrested 1377 individuals with outstanding felony warrants through a Department of Justice grant.
• Repaving of 35.5 miles of road using rubberized asphalt.
• Renovating 617 homes with energy-saving appliances and improvements.
• The Public Health Department provided 36,552 immunizations and served 7,330 homeless patients through a federal Health and Human Services funding package.
County Manager David Smith established a Recovery Act implementation team and its efforts were monitored through the county’s inter-governmental relations office.
“We wanted to ramp up and start new programs quickly because the economic hit to Arizona and the county was severe,” explained Wil Barnow, who headed the monitoring program. “We were able to start using the funds quickly and managed them efficiently. The professionals in each of the county departments performed well on this task.”
“The president’s program was meant to ease the economic pain of individual workers and their families, but also to put into place good projects in public safety, health and transportation,” Wilcox said. “Some other states and cities haven’t even used half of their money yet. During such a deep recession, I am really pleased that Maricopa County performed so well.”
A full report of current ARRA programs and projects, including videos, is available at http://www.maricopa.gov/ARRA/# .