Columbus Requests $82 Million in Stimulus Funds

By Lindsey Connell - bio | e-mail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  $82, 632, 173- that's how much the city of Columbus has applied for and hopes to get in economic stimulus funds.

Officials announced Tuesday that a chunk of that money is already on its way.

"We have commitments- already approved commitments- for $10 million dollars of what we've applied for," said Deputy City Manager Lisa Goodwin.

That $10 million will go to projects like the Veterans Parkway Streetscape, Warm Springs Rail Line, Meritas Mill Drainage and 6th Avenue Flood Abatement ventures, Housing and Homeless Assistance, jobs and job training, and Metra Transit upgrades.

And to track what funds have been received and how they're being spent, the city has formed a new Stimulus Accountability Team. It's made up of department heads who have applied for a piece of the stimulus pie.

"When we get that money that we are following all of the reporting requirements and all of the guidelines that come along with the stimulus money. We want to make sure that we get it right and that we don't get caught in the position that it's questioned and possibly asked to pay back any monies," said City Manager Isaiah Hughley.

"The city manager has charged this team with ensuring that there is a great coordination and communication and making sure that we execute each of the projects, each of these grants in the manner that they should be," added Goodwin.

The Stimulus Accountability Team will receive monthly updates from each of the departments on how funds are being received and spent.

Citizens can track how the economic stimulus funds are being utilized.

Information is available on the city's website, CCG-TV and by calling 311.