Sarasota and Manatee Counties, added together, have $3,952,169 in "leftover" American Recovery and Reinvestment ( ARRA) money that can now be spent on additional road and transportation improvement projects in our part of Florida.
These figures were revealed during the April 26, 2010, meeting on the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).
The cost of almost every kind of construction material has dropped over the past few years. Labor costs, too, have gone down, and contractors, at least for the moment, aren't trying to make big profits but are struggling to keep their doors open and their workers busy.
The net result? Lots more road for the buck than county staff members expected when they submitted estimates in 2009.
But still not nearly enough to make up for other transportation funding cuts.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) budget for the next year has been cut by $160 million, which means that, in the end, we'll have less highway construction and probably less maintenance than we've had in more prosperous times.
Take an MPO Survey about how we should spend our limited transportation funds.
Download the 2009 Manatee/Sarasota ARRA construction estimates here (pdf).
Download minutes of the April 26 MPO meeting here.
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