Mayor seeking stimulus funding

Published 10:41 am Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mayor Rich Blankenship will go to Columbus today for a briefing on what the city may receive as part of the federal economic stimulus plan for cities.

The stimulus package has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is now in the U.S. Senate for consideration. Blankenship said the meeting with state leaders may give him a better idea how much money, if any, the city may receive.

“We’re not sure what’s in it,” he said.

Email newsletter signup

The mayor is armed with a wish list of items he would like to get funding for. At the top of his list is money to separate the city’s storm and sanitary sewers and money to replace the pumps in the city’s aging floodwall system.

While these wish list items are hardly exciting, Blankenship said they are necessities the city would have a hard time paying for on its own.

“Unlike other cities, we’re not asking for tennis courts,” Blankenship said. “We have needs.”

The city needs an estimated $18 million for its sewer system separation project and an estimated $8 million to replace the floodwall system’s generators and pump station equipment. The city has 10 pumps stations, each with 4 pumps.

“Some are 1940s models, so we’re kind of piecing them together there,” Blankenship said.