BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County officials have submitted a dozen road improvement projects totaling more than $12 million in hopes of receiving their share of federal economic stimulus money.
The list, which includes large resurfacing projects on Spring Hill Drive, Citrus Way, and even $2 million to improve the Suncoast Trail, has been submitted to the Florida Legislative Budget Commission for review and approval with action expected by April 15.
The list then is forwarded to the Federal Highway Administration for review and possible approval to be funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, according to a news release from Hernando County Community Relations on Wednesday.
State highway officials have been working with local jurisdictions, including Hernando County and Brooksville representatives, to create lists of needed projects.
Priorities are set for various reasons, including whether the project is "shovel ready,'' which refers to projects that have already been in the planning process and won't take long to start up once funding is available.
Other priorities include whether the project has been deferred by the state, provides traffic congestion relief, is needed to clear the way to begin planned development, is in an economically depressed area, has the potential to generate revenue and jobs and can be completed within three years.
"We are very excited about the positive impact these projects will have on our local economy in terms of putting people to work and improving our transportation system in Hernando County,'' Commission Chairman Dave Russell stated in the release.
Commissioners also have signed off on a list of other major capital projects that they hope will win some of the stimulus money. Those include building a new judicial center, a series of utility projects and the Hernando Beach Channel dredging project.
Additionally, county officials have applied for funding to buy five new buses for the local transit system. The County Commission is expected to discuss later this month whether to continue seeking those buses and committing to keeping the fixed-route transit system.
Barbara Behrendt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1434.