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Stimulus $$: Broad Creek is top Middlesex priority

by Larry S. Chowning

Requests from Middlesex officials, affiliated groups and citizens total about $400 million.
Since President Barack Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, citizens, organizations and local governments have been applying for a piece of the nationwide estimated $787 billion stimulus pie. 

From the air, it is easy to see that the channel into Broad Creek is narrowing.  (Photo by Mike Kucera)
So far, there have been 79 requests for stimulus money to fund projects either in Middlesex County, or projects that impact county citizens. The grand sum of the Middlesex requests totals about $400 million.

All federal stimulus funds are channeled to state governments which, in turn, spread the wealth to localities.

According to the state website, Stimulus.Virginia.Gov, Middlesex requests include the following.

Middlesex County’s number one request is $670,000 for the dredging of Broad Creek in Deltaville. Six private citizens also requested funding for the dredging of Broad Creek.

Middlesex County also requested $6 million to design and construct a road and bridge across Healy’s Mill Pond on Route 629 (Stormont Road) at Hartfield.

The bridge project already is in the county’s six-year road plan, but construction is not scheduled to begin until 2016. A portion of Route 629 has been closed now for several years because the dam spillway under the road that crosses Healy’s Mill Pond has been condemned and labeled unsafe by VDOT officials.

Middlesex County has requested $5 million to build the proposed sewage treatment plant to serve the courthouse and Saluda area; $300,000 to expand the county’s [trash] transfer station at Stormont; and $50,000 to clean up debris remaining from Hurricane Isabel, which would help create walking paths/nature trails at the Deltaville Maritime Museum.

The Middlesex Public School System applied for $1 million for the restoration of the East Wing and gymnasium complex at Middlesex High School. The East Wing was built when the school was constructed in 1949, and was not included in the recent high school renovation project. The gymnasium complex was completed in 1976.

The Middlesex School System, along with Gloucester, King and Queen, Mathews and King William, have applied for $20 million to build a facility to house a technical school at Rappahannock Community College. 

The Town of Urbanna has requested $150,000 to upgrade water lines within the town, to replace old galvanized piping, and provide larger lines to provide increased fire protection and adequate water pressure.

Urbanna also asked for $40,000 for a generator for the municipal office so the building can be used as a town Emergency Operations Center; $350,000 for repairs to the town swimming pool; and $150,000 to replace the town trolley.

The Middlesex Food Bank at the Community Boosters Club near Hartfield has requested $48,000 for the purchase of food. Laura Loding reported in her application that “due to the increased cost of food and loss of jobs,” the USDA food bank has seen a dramatic increase in the need for food.

The Middlesex County Library has applied for $150,000 to build a meeting room for public use. The room also can be used as a computer lab to teach senior citizens computer skills.

The Deltaville Community Association requested $45,000 for an upgrade of its playground, and $625,000 to build a new swimming pool. 

Bay Aging has applied for $450,000 to complete construction of 12 housing units outside of Urbanna for the elderly, and $1.1 million to purchase land and construct an administrative office building for Bay Aging.

The Deltaville Maritime Museum has applied for $3,000 to upgrade the culverts at the museum; $3,000 for insulating the museum’s main building; $6,000 to employ four summer interns to serve as docents at $1,500 apiece; $124,000 to build a display room with handicapped access; $54,000 for a docent work station and gift shop; $7,000 for installation of a water permeable surface on walking paths through the Woodlands garden; $10,000 to renew and rebuild walk paths on the Nature Walk course; $8,000 to add gravel to existing driveway, parking areas and nature walk paths; $15,000 to paint and restore the museum building; $6,000 to install a floating dock; $31,000 for installation of a heat pump and solar collecting system that also will provide hot water; and $12,000 to replace failing roof shingles on the 40-year-old main building.

Rappahannock General Hospital (RGH) in Kilmarnock is listed under the requests coming from Middlesex and Urbanna. RGH is requesting a total of $16,255,000 in stimulus funds, which includes $2.19 million for an upgrade of its electronic medical records system; $6.1 million for a full interior and exterior upgrade of existing buildings; $3.5 million for funds to completely rebuild and expand the hospital’s emergency services unit; $4.2 million to create a free-standing psychiatric facility; and $265,000 for a new roof on the existing 33-year-old building.

The RGH amounts listed on the state’s stimulus website reflect a $1.3 billion request—which is incorrect. RGH Senior Vice President Randy Hester said yesterday he has attempted to have the figures corrected on the website, but has been unsuccessful. The correct figures, however, will be presented to the Governor’s review committee, he said.

Lew Grimm requested $20 million for a central sewer system in the Deltaville community; $5 million to construct a central water system for the entire county; $500,000 for extending sidewalks in Deltaville; $10,000 for a dinghy dock on Jackson Creek; and $125,000 for expanded walking trails parallel to Route 33 that would take people off the road and away from traffic.

Thyra Harris requested $10 million in subsidies for watermen; Michelle Rother requested $65,000 for a new playground in Deltaville; Blake Slusser requested $350,000 for the Tappahannock Free Clinic that serves those without health insurance in Essex and Middlesex; and John Mitchell requested $250,000 for establishing a birthing center on the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula.

Jimmy Meredith requested $150,000 to dredge approximately 2,000 yards on Jackson Creek to allow access and a turn-around for boats in the vicinity of the Deltaville Maritime Museum; Ed Rice requested $800,000 to help fund job development and job placement assistance in the area; Patricia Tyrrell requested $1 million for restoration and implementing “Living Shoreline” techniques; David Mower requested $4 million for low-income broadband service in Middlesex; and Stephen Geissler requested $3 million for a vehicle maintenance and materials recovery facility to be constructed in Essex County, but to also serve Middlesex County.

Pamela Thomas-Buchanan with Virginia State University has requested about $1 million to conduct training for farmers in rural central and southeastern Virginia to help them with early detection of animal food disease, food-borne pathogens, and contamination. 

Also listed under Middlesex requests are: Chuck Williams requested $35 million be spent on engineering infrastructure for broadband services; Andrea Lomboy asked for $500,000 for Healthy Congregations—A Faith Based Initiative; and the Rappahannock Rural Health Development Center is seeking $160,000 for health services.

David Mower requested $450,000 for high-speed internet service in the schools of the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula, and $4.5 million for wireless broadband; Eleanor Vanecek requested $193 million for a new bridge across the Rappahannock River; and Jimmy Meredith requested $125,000 for the dredging of Sturgeon Creek.

Edie Bowles requested $620,000 on “Bridges to Health,” a program designed to expand health care in regions where chronic disease rates are high; William H. Pennell Jr. requested $2 million to install an “internet backbone” in the area; and Jerry Davis requested $17.5 million to provide an open access network for the nine counties of the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula.

Allen Taliaferro requested $16,790,000 for Virginia broadband “footprint expansion.”

For more information, visit Stimulus.Virginia.Gov.

Based largely on broad proposals made by President Obama, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is intended to provide a stimulus to the U.S. economy in the wake of the economic downturn brought about by the subprime mortgage crisis and the resulting credit crunch. The Act includes federal tax cuts, expansion of unemployment benefits and other social welfare provisions, and increased domestic spending in education, health care, and infrastructure, including the energy sector. 

posted 03.18.2009

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