Stories indexed with the term ‘federal stimulus’

What’s Your Federal Stimulus Good For?

Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners working session (April 8, 2010): Two presentations at Thursday’s working session were tied to the community’s health: how federal stimulus dollars are being spent, and how former prisoners are being helped, with the goal of reducing repeat offenses.

Portion of a Washtenaw County employment application

Washtenaw County employment applications ask about felony convictions.

Mary King, coordinator of the Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiative of Washtenaw County, told commissioners how the MPRI is attempting to reduce the county’s high prisoner recidivism rate – a problem dating back several years. She also urged them to consider eliminating a question on the county’s employment forms that asks about an applicant’s felony history. Such questions can be barriers to employment, she said, and the biggest cause of parole failure is lack of a job.

Leaders of two county departments – Mary Jo Callan of the Office of Community Development, and Patricia Denig of Employment Training & Community Services (ETCS) – gave an update on how some of the county’s $22.69 million in federal stimulus funds are being spent. Those two departments alone have received $13.22 million for a wide range of programs, from job training to low-income housing. [Full Story]

Federal Money May Save Bus #5 for Ypsi

Clipping from April 3, 1973 Ann Arbor News newspaper

A clipping from the April 3, 1973 Ann Arbor News newspaper. Headline was: "Bus System Linking City With Ypsilanti Gets Push"

At a meeting of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority’s planning and development committee on Wednesday evening – attended by some members of Ypsilanti’s city council, plus the mayor – the possible elimination of Ypsilanti’s bus Route #5 became far less likely.

The committee recommended that federal stimulus money be used to cover a shortfall between the amount that Ypsilanti’s city council allocated to transportation, and the cost of the city’s purchase of service agreement (POSA) with the AATA through June 2011. If the recommendation to use federal dollars is approved by the full AATA board at its Sept.23 meeting, the elimination of Route #5, plus reductions in service on Routes #10 and #11, would not be necessary.

On Sept. 8, Ypsilanti’s city council had voted 5-1 (with dissent from Mayor Paul Schreiber) to propose the service reductions – chosen from a “menu” of options provided by the AATA. The Ypsilanti council resolution also included a request that the POSA rate not increase, and that about $100,000 in federal stimulus dollars – part of a $6.45 million grant to the AATA – be used to make up the remaining difference.

The willingness of the AATA’s planning and development committee to increase the federal dollars allotted to around $200,000 was based on a key condition, which is actually built into the language of the Ypsilanti council resolution: either there will be progress towards a dedicated countywide funding mechanism for mass transportation, or else the city of Ypsilanti will put a millage proposal (a Headlee override) on the November 2010 ballot. [Full Story]