Readers respond

How much will the new economic stimulus package help your operation?

A break-even proposition?

While gratified that the nation “decided to invest in itself,” some readers say the infusion of federal funding is a boon only insofar that it's offsetting the negative effects of state budget cuts.

Others say they didn't have the resources to have preliminarily engineered projects waiting on the shelf and thus can't access the additional monies:

“While we have a great need for infrastructure replacement, our customer base won't support any more debt service at this time. I doubt very much that we'd be eligible for any grants because I think we're considered too large a community.”

For details on the infrastructure-related aspects of the economic-stimulus package, visit our Resource Center.

Grant application deadline is April 1

The National Association of Counties is offering $350,000 to improve stream, river, estuarine, and other marine habitats. Grants will range from $50,000 to $100,000. Community-based applications that focus on working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will be given special consideration. Contact Carrie Clingan at 202-942-4246;

Driving decline enters second year

According to the Federal Highway Administration, vehicle miles traveled fell for the 14th consecutive month in December, with rural areas continuing to experience greater declines than urban areas. The West, a bloc of 13 states, experienced the biggest decline, probably because of unusually large snowfalls in Oregon and Washington. Despite the overall decline, 17 states posted slight increases.

Good governance group taps public works director

Cranberry Township's Jason Daily is leading the development of infrastructure-related performance measures to be implemented throughout the 10-county region of southwestern Pennsylvania. The Local Government Academy also has teams working on budget and finance, powers and duties, public safety, human resource management, ethics, intergovernmental cooperation, and planning and community development. Visit