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Andyc545

The Stimulus Package Breakdown for Charlotte

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As it was being discussed in The Vue thread amongst others, I decided to start a thread for the Federal Stimulus Package that has been passed by both the House and as of Feb 10, 2009, the Senate. There are still negotiations expected between the two to finalize a bill before President Obama puts his signature on it.

The Charlotte Observer just published an article on the local stimulus wishlist. Without going into too many of the specifics, major projects include $335 million for the North Commuter Rail and $25 million for a renovation of Memorial Stadium which may be home to the UNCC Football team for a few years. The city's list is composed of roughly $824 million which is estimated to create 23,074 jobs (short of $36k per job, fwiw). It's doubtful that we will see much of it, but I suppose this thread can be open to a UP wishlist and analyze the outcome and what development we can expect to see, as well as the effect on how the stimulus package will have on the stumbling Charlotte economy.

For the record, new school construction was included in the bill that the House passed (I believe it was 25 billion dollars) but the Senate took out school funding in its version. Once the negotiations begin for the final bill, we will see if new school construction will or will not be part of the final bill (which I'm predicting it will be cut due to the needed GOP support).

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My personal views on this is that we need money spent in areas that will not only create jobs but be a cost saving measure in the future. Charlotte should gun for as many solar projects as possible as that not only creates jobs, it also reduces the energy payout requirements in the future. Alongside that wish, we obviously need to resolve a lot of issues with poor efficiency of some of the government buildings. My uncle works as an accountant for the city and, because it is an older building with poor efficiency, he ends up wearing a scarf and heavy sweater while working during the winter. Perhaps a fleet of more efficient police cars and other government owned vehicles could save the city much needed money once the price of gas increases (only a matter of time).

As much as I would like to see something done with mass transit, I'm doubting we'll see much if any at all. There is too little to go around to pump over $300M for a commuter rail in Charlotte. I have reservations about that particular line having high ridership, but I would love to be proven wrong. Please don't pump money into road projects. I'm for fixing existing bridges, but please do not create new roads from this money. We need to loosen the grip America (and especially Charlotte) has on the automobile and, IMO, this is obviously no way to create a sustainable economy in the long run.

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I figured I'd post this link here of NCDOT shovel ready projects for an additional resource...

http://www.ncdot.org/about/finance/federalstimulus/

They are for the whole state for the NCDOT only (over $5 billion worth). You can sort through all the Charlotte Metro projects. Some I noticed:

Aviation:

  • US Airways Next Gen Operational Demo - Charlotte (Anyone know what this is?)... It's over a half million bucks.

  • Also a runway extension at the airport in Monroe and Concord, but nothing for CLT.

    Bicycle / Ped:

    • NC 73, Catawba River Bridge to Beatties Ford Road, 2.2 miles

      • West Corridor Enhanced Bus service/electronic signs (+$3 million)

      • Sustain downtown Charlotte Business shuttle ($1.3 million)

      • Purchase 60 buses off existing contract ($30 million)

      • Renovate existing Davidson Maintenance Facility & add new facility space for paratransit operations

        ($25 million)

      • Accelerate construction of Park & Ride facilities ($10 million)

      • Modernize CATS' main Transit Hub in Charlotte's Center City ($25 million)

      • LYNX Blue Line Capacity Enhancements: purchase up to 12 LRVs; ticket vending machines; extend platform lengths; add shelters; information/advertising kiosks ($110 million)

      • Create a sealed corridor in North Corridor from Charlotte to Mooresville (railroad grade crossing consolidation, signalization, quad gates and other enhancements) ($30 million)

      Rail:

      [*]CRISP-Charlotte Rail Improvement and Safety Project. Grade separate NS from CSXT and provide crossing for CATS O-Line project, close 9 at-grade crossings, enhance freight, intermodal, commuter and intercity passenger access. ($80 million)

      [*]Sugar Creek Road Grade Separation

      [*]Double-track 26.3 miles of NCRR between HPT and CLT ($65 million)

      [*]Acquire ROW for future Charlotte Gateway Station ($7.5 million)

      [*]*There is nearly a billion buckaroos for the rail division. A lot of it covers costs related to the high speed corridor.

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I don't think all this stuff made it into the final bill that Obama is going to sign.

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I don't think all this stuff made it into the final bill that Obama is going to sign.

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Mayor Pat was one of 85 mayors to attend President Obama's meetings today. NPR's Here and Now caught up with him after the meetings and did a pretty good interview. McCrory talked about how impressed he was with Obama's pragmatic stance on smart spending and accountability. Pat also talked about HIS priorities for how Charlotte would use the city stimulus money- first mention was 800 million for transit, building for future generations - and also water/sewer upgrades.

And FWIW, they always used the moniker Charlotte, NC.

Here's the audio link (at least for today): Here and Now with Mayor Pat.

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The list of projects exists, its just a matter of which ones get funded. Right now NCDOT and the MPOS are trying to prioritize their lists. We won't know which projects specifically get funded for a while longer.

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Escapists, Mayor Pat was also on CNN with 3 or 4 other Mayors tonight and had live interviews with him and his views of the stimulus money. He was interviewed with the night skyline as the backdrop and they also discussed other facts about Charlotte, including the unemployment rate and population and how big of a part it is to North Carolina.

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^I give the man credit for managing to getting his face in the news considering how much real influence he has in both the stimulus bill and what is going to happen to the banks. That influence is none. In fact it might even be negative. Give the total lack of influence this city has in the Legislature after his decade plus years as Mayor, it's surprising that we got what we did.

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I wonder if this new outspoken Patty Mac has anything to do with his decision to leave office at the end of this term. I can understand how he may have been hesitant to rock the boat - but now, what does he have to lose?

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Looks like a controversy is about to erupt over this between the mayor of Charlotte and the governor of North Carolina. Should I be suprised?

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Looks like a controversy is about to erupt over this between the mayor of Charlotte and the governor of North Carolina. Should I be suprised?

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You also have to question why the money is being spent where it is being spent. The state is now spending hundreds of millions of dollars on two projects in the same vicinity. One is widening Hwy 218 in northern Union County and the other is the Monroe bypass from Marshville to Matthews, also in Northern Union. Seriously, go look at it on a map. It is a tremendous misallocation of local funds to improve and newly build two hwys in the same place.

Basically, the state is building two huge highways where there is not a great deal of traffic or population density. The excuse for widening 218 is that its a transportation route - so shouldn't the Monroe bypass fill that need?

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CATS is also getting $30M of this money which I would say is quite a haul in itself. Before they start throwing bricks at the state legislature and Governor, I think they should be fair in their attacks. What other city department in this state is being handed $30M to use as it sees fit?

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McCrory is apparently making a big stink for NO GOOD REASON. In an Observer article out today, he and his fellow republicans say that because Charlotte is 10% of the state's population, Charlotte should therefore receive 10% of the road and bridge money.

Wait for it...here comes the funny part. In another Observer article also out today, the paper reports that Charlotte is set to receive $75 million out of $735 million designated for roads and bridges. Drum roll please...that equals 10.2% of the road money NC is receiving.

Pat, you may just be your own worst enemy.

Is that correct? I thought our division was getting $75M, not just Charlotte.

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You also have to question why the money is being spent where it is being spent. The state is now spending hundreds of millions of dollars on two projects in the same vicinity. One is widening Hwy 218 in northern Union County and the other is the Monroe bypass from Marshville to Matthews, also in Northern Union. Seriously, go look at it on a map. It is a tremendous misallocation of local funds to improve and newly build two hwys in the same place.

Basically, the state is building two huge highways where there is not a great deal of traffic or population density. The excuse for widening 218 is that its a transportation route - so shouldn't the Monroe bypass fill that need?

Having 218 a top priority really bugs me. I travel this road every time I visit my parents and up until a couple of years ago I traveled it everyday to and from work (from 601 to I-485). I have never once had to wait more than one light, rarely met a big truck and this section was just repaved four or so years ago. The so called 'traffic' on this road is pretty much non-existent while there are plenty of other roads in the state (and Charlotte) that need attention first.

Can anyone on here explain to me why 218 needs so much attention?

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Once the ink is dry, all he will be able to do is REact. Since his reelection is not on the line, I am sure he sees this a being PROactive. I don't disagree.

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Having 218 a top priority really bugs me. I travel this road every time I visit my parents and up until a couple of years ago I traveled it everyday to and from work (from 601 to I-485). I have never once had to wait more than one light, rarely met a big truck and this section was just repaved four or so years ago. The so called 'traffic' on this road is pretty much non-existent while there are plenty of other roads in the state (and Charlotte) that need attention first.

Can anyone on here explain to me why 218 needs so much attention?

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The pavement is breaking down due to overuse by heavy trucks who are (ironically) avoiding the heavy congestion on US 74... which is in turn planned for a $750M+ toll bypass (if it ever comes to fruition). NC

Pardon my ignorance on this, but is there any way to prevent a road having to repaved every four years? I'm pretty sure it has only been four years since 218 was repaved last (and I believe they widened the shoulders at that time). IMO it is unsustainable to keep repaving that often. What's the difference between trucks on I-485 and 218, 485 certainly hasn't been repaved due to trucks and I would wager there are many more on it than on 218. Is it a different grade of asphalt or was 218 just poorly paved?

The bill was mainly about creating jobs, so the lists called for so called shovel-ready projects, or those that were ready to be built within a few months.

I would have imagined that there are more critical projects that should be placed at a higher priority than this that are shovel ready, but perhaps not. Any word on the Yadkin River bridge? I would much rather see structurally deficient bridges replaced before seeing a newly repaved road repaved again.

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Roads are not blindly repaved. They are inspected, compared with other roads, then prioritized accordingly.

Didn't the Gov Perdue say that the Yadkin River bridge was going to be on the list? I don't have a source, but I swear I heard that somewhere.

McCrory is apparently making a big stink for NO GOOD REASON. In an Observer article out today, he and his fellow republicans say that because Charlotte is 10% of the state's population, Charlotte should therefore receive 10% of the road and bridge money.

Wait for it...here comes the funny part. In another Observer article also out today, the paper reports that Charlotte is set to receive $75 million out of $735 million designated for roads and bridges. Drum roll please...that equals 10.2% of the road money NC is receiving.

Pat, you may just be your own worst enemy.

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Well I think the hoopla in the Observer today was more about selling papers than reporting on a real story. And McCrory is obviously a lame duck looking for some relevance where he has none. He hitched his wagon to the Bush bandwagon in 2004and has pretty much crashed with it. No state or national politician pays him any attention.

Purdue for her part came to Charlotte today and explained why the money went where it did. I understand why it did go that way. She also said that she intends to be the one to cut the ribbon for the last leg of I-485 by using her influence to move up the schedule of this road which is one of the most expensive projects ever built by this state. As I already mentioned, CATS got $30M so why the complaints? Add this up and Charlotte got far more than most places in this state. We keep hearing that roads are unfairly subsidized over transit, so here is a case where CATS get a significant chunk of money sent to the area from the state, and there are still complaints.

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Any word on the Yadkin River bridge? I would much rather see structurally deficient bridges replaced before seeing a newly repaved road repaved again.

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