August 2009 – State & Province News
The state’s first construction project using federal stimulus money — a $23.8 million project to relocate security equipment at Kahului Airport — is underway. The Honolulu Advertiser reports that the state is expected to receive $500 million to $950 million in additional federal funds to pump the state’s flagging economy. Most of those funds will pay for highways and bridges, transit systems, clean-water projects, public housing improvements, and affordable housing.
Public hearings on gravel pits — and how far they can be from residences — could be held as early as this month after the McLean County Board opposed a series of changes to rules in its community. According to The Pantagraph, the county board had an hour-long discussion with two board members failing in their attempt to lobby for stricter regulations. The proposed changes are the result of eight months of discussion between boards, residents, and gravel companies following a proposal for a pit near an elementary school that raised concerns about dust, equipment, and respiratory ailments. The proposal calls for at least 1,000 feet between gravel pits and homes and for 2,000 feet between gravel loading areas and homes. It also clarifies issues such as classifying, mining, and quarrying into three categories and clarifies the width and use of buffer areas.
A new Indianapolis city commission has identified hundreds of infrastructure projects that the city hopes to address over the next three decades. Indystar.com reports that the current infrastructure needs total $5 billion in present-day dollars, or about five times the city-county’s annual budget. The majority of the budget is expected to come from property owners in the form of ever-increasing sewer rates with no source identified for the remaining $1.5 billion needed to repair roads, sidewalks, curbs, culverts, and alleys.