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St. Petersburg mayor launches Web site to track stimulus funds

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Baker unveiled a new Web site — www.stpeterecovery.com — to track how city stimulus money is spent.

The Web site lists all the federal programs the city may be eligible for, and what steps the city is taking to acquire stimulus funds.

The site will track money "from the beginning of the review process, until it's actually spent," Baker said Wednesday at a press conference.

The city is unsure how much money it might receive, Baker said, but some funding sources are surer than others.

At a minimum, Baker expects $600,000 for low-income people and neighborhoods, $915,000 in homeless prevention assistance and perhaps more than $1 million in additional police funding.

Other money might come for transportation projects and programs promoting energy efficiency.

Baker said the city would target stimulus funds that would not burden future city budgets.

Internal Services Administrator Mike Connors will act as the city's recovery manager, Baker said, and City Council member Karl Nurse will serve as a council liaison. Nurse has pushed the city to aggressively pursue stimulus funds.

"It would have been better if we had started eight weeks ago," Nurse said. "But today is better than tomorrow."

The city has scheduled a public forum March 31 at the Coliseum downtown to discuss potential local projects.

The St. Petersburg site dovetails a state web site, www.flarecovery.com, launched by Gov. Charlie Crist.

A special assistant for Crist, Michelle Todd, was in St. Petersburg Thursday for Baker's announcement.

St. Petersburg mayor launches Web site to track stimulus funds 03/19/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 19, 2009 11:31pm]
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