Tampa City Council asks: Where's the stimulus money?

03/12/09 Mitch E. Perry
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Tampa City Council members today discussed when they might see some of the federal stimulus money that will soon be making its way to the Sunshine State.

Mark Huey is the economic and urban administrator for the city of Tampa. He said he receives three to four emails a day with new information and interpretation on how the funds will impact the redevelopment of the city. Huey said he’s involved with a citywide interdepartmental task force to track the funding process.

Earlier this week it was announced that Tampa would receive $2.5 million for community development and homeless prevention, with the city using $1 million for the Community Development Block Grant program.

Councilwoman Mary Mulhern said she had read recently that Florida was one of the lowest states per capita regarding the stimulus. Mulhern also said she was excited upon learning that activist and green jobs advocate Van Jones has just joined the Obama Administration as a special advisor for green jobs, enterprise and innovation.

The Councilwoman said Tampa needs to act to get some of those green jobs, preferably in a Community Redevelopment Area such as East Tampa.

Picking up on Mulhern’s direction, Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena said she wanted to have Huey work towards getting a solar manufacturing plant to locate in East Tampa.

The Council then directed Huey to come back within the next two CRA meetings to report on developments on trying to bring such a facility to East Tampa.

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