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Hernando prepares wish list for economic stimulus dollars

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County staffers are beginning to assemble lists of capital improvement projects ranging from new sidewalks to the construction of the long-discussed new judicial center in hopes that special funding might be just around the corner.

With talks continuing in Washington and Tallahassee concerning finding dollars to stimulate the flagging economy by putting people to work building public infrastructure, Hernando commissioners this week set a goal to get lists ready for whenever money becomes available.

The lists will be pulled from projects already detailed in capital improvement plans, including the county's comprehensive plan, Deputy County Administrator Larry Jennings told commissioners on Wednesday.

The lists are heavy with projects that the county has not been able to fund all at once: water and sewer projects, landfill construction, sidewalks, road expansions and improvements, projects at the airport, the Hernando Beach channel dredging project, and several building projects including the judicial center.

Jennings said the work was ongoing so "we will be prepared when people ask for those lists.''

He promised that once the master list is done, it will be forwarded to the commission for its approval.

County Commissioner Dave Russell said he had heard that projects already in the planning stages and for which local governments already have some funding set aside would get the highest priority.

Since the county already has $19-million set aside for the judicial complex, Russell said that project could get a higher ranking to receive funding.

"If we're appropriately ranked and appropriately ready to go, we're much more likely to be funded,'' he said.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

Hernando prepares wish list for economic stimulus dollars 12/11/08 [Last modified: Sunday, December 14, 2008 1:31pm]
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