BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County is in line to receive millions more federal stimulus dollars, on top of the $8 million already ticketed for road resurfacing and improvement projects.
County commissioners this week approved a new list of projects for the second phase of federal stimulus money being distributed by the Florida Department of Transportation.
Chief among the new projects is the widening and resurfacing of a stretch of Spring Lake Highway, which is expected to start next spring and estimated to cost about $2.4 million.
Other improvements are resurfacing projects including stretches of Spring Hill Drive and Wiscon, Ayers and Culbreath roads.
At least the first five projects on the list are expected to be funded to a total of about $4 million, public works director Charles Mixson told commissioners Tuesday.
The DOT is anxious to get the county's to-do lists.
"It's moving very fast,'' Mixson said. "DOT wants to spend the money and get the roads resurfaced.''
Since May, the commissioners have approved the initial list of projects, most of which are out to bid. Bids for the first batch will be opened in August and work is expected to start soon after.
That project list includes the expected $3.3 million job to widen and resurface Citrus Way from Fort Dade Avenue to Kensington Road. All totaled, the first phase of stimulus projects carries an $8 million price tag.
"This is going to be a tremendous help to our pavement management program'' and provide dollars for additional capital improvements, Mixson told commissioners.
The money the county had already set aside to begin some of the jobs can now be used for other work, such as expanding the dust control surface treatments for some lime rock roads, Mixson said.
He added that the stimulus money has been a real boon for the county's Public Works Department, allowing it to catch up with projects at a time when revenue from the standard sources, such as property taxes, gas taxes and impact fees, are down.
Without the federal dollars, Mixson said Wednesday that some of the projects would not be getting done anytime soon. For those preventative maintenance jobs on roads nearing a time when more serious reconstruction is needed, the county is saving by resurfacing and building on minor base failures sooner rather than later.
As for the projects on the list that won't get funding in the second phase of the stimulus funds, Mixson said there is some chance that dollars will be available for a third round of funds as well.
Barbara Behrendt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1434.