Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Stimulus money will help overhaul City Hall

TAMPA — A solar-powered county courthouse. Energy-efficient street lights and air conditioners.

Uncle Sam has opened his wallet, and the Bay area is ready to spend.

The White House announced $23.9 million in stimulus money earmarked for energy efficiency and conservation grants for the Tampa Bay area Thursday.

Hillsborough County was promised the largest chunk of cash, followed by Pasco and Pinellas counties.

Tampa stands to receive $3.7 million, and St. Petersburg could get $2.4 million.

Thom Snelling, who oversees the Tampa's green initiatives, said he was doing cartwheels in the hallway when he learned Thursday of the appropriation.

"I'm thrilled to death," he said. "We have a heck of a wish list, and quite a bit of it has to do with energy savings."

Many of those projects would go unfunded without the stimulus money, Snelling said. Among them: replacement of 30-year-old heating and cooling systems at police headquarters and City Hall. Both projects could begin this summer and would create 50 jobs, according to city documents.

Tampa public works director Irvin Lee said the money could pay for replacing incandescent traffic lights with LED signals that use up to 80 percent less energy.

"We've only got about a quarter of our intersections changed out right now. I'd love to jack that up," Lee said. "LED traffic signal conversion has a relatively quick payback."

Hillsborough County could use the money to install solar panels on top of the old courthouse, now under renovation. County energy manager Randy Klindworth said the project would cost about $2.1 million and be capable of providing about half of the building's electricity.

A portion of the money could also be used to upgrade lighting systems within some of the more than 300 government buildings across the county.

"These are easy projects that could be done quickly," Klindworth said.

Hillsborough County is in talks with operators of the county-owned St. Pete Times Forum about ways to make the venue more energy efficient, county spokeswoman Edith Stewart said

The county's Economic Stimulus Task Force will meet today and the grant may be a topic of conversation.

Mike Connors, St. Petersburg's internal services administrator, called the funding significant. He quickly rattled off a list of potential projects, including new street lights and solar panels for government buildings.

Other governments have yet to determine how they might spend the money.

"What we're going to do is we're going to look at the projects that might be eligible … using federal criteria," said Elithia Stanfield, assistant Pinellas County administrator. "Then we will apply to use the money."

The grants are funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. More than $3.2 billion in the stimulus plan was set aside for energy projects, including $168,643,400 for Florida.

To receive the money, government must submits grants for projects that improve energy efficiency and reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions.

Times staff writers Bill Varian and David DeCamp contributed to this report. Cristina Silva can be reached at csilva@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8846.

Stimulus fund breakdown

Funding is based on population and energy use.

RegionFunds
Tampa$3.7 million
St. Petersburg$2.4 million
Clearwater$1.1 million
Largo$719,200
Pinellas Park$215,000
Dunedin$149,500
Hillsborough County$7.7 million
Pasco County$4.2 million
Pinellas County$3.8 million



Stimulus money will help overhaul City Hall 03/26/09 [Last modified: Friday, March 27, 2009 12:19am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Two Kissimmee police officers shot to death

    News

    KISSIMMEE — Two police officers were shot dead in Kissimmee Friday night, Orange County mayor Teresa Jacobs said.

    Two police officers have been shot and killed in Kissimmee, authorities say. The shooting happened in the area of Palmway and Cypress around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Photo courtesy of WESH.com
  2. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  3. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  4. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    Jameis Winston, left, tries to hang on to the ball as Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler tries to strip it from him.
  5. Despite pain, woman in court faces ex-boyfriend who lit her on fire

    Criminal

    PORT RICHEY

    Sheron Pasco sat in the wheelchair as her mother pushed it toward the man in the orange jail suit.

    Sheron Pasco, 39, relies on the help of her mother, Tranda Webb, 62, as she recovers from the burns covering her body.