Facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, President Obama started his Presidency with decisive action -- proposing and quickly passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Since the bill went into effect, the ARRA has already helped put money back in the pockets of 95 percent of working Americans, created and saved jobs across the country and made key investments in our community to help kickstart the economy. To ensure that the funds are spent efficiently and effectively, President Obama tasked Vice President Biden with overseeing the implementation of ARRA, and projects have already begun to come in under budget across the country. As the President prepares to introduce the details of his budget and further plans to revitalize the economy, here’s a look at how his policies have impacted New Hampshire in the first three months of his administration.
IMPACT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES ON NEW HAMPSHIRE
Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $300 million back in the pockets of more than 500,000 hard-working Granite State families.
$4,736,238 to support child care for working families.
$12,522,900 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
$23,218,594 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
$25,827,000 to the State Energy Program, available for rebates to consumers for energy saving improvements; development of renewable energy projects; promotion of Energy Star products; efficiency upgrades for state and local government buildings; and other innovative state efforts to help save families money on their energy bills.
$298,528,225 potentially available to New Hampshire to lay the foundation for a generation of education reform and help save thousands of teaching jobs at risk due to state and local budget cuts.
$930,000 to fund 1 new Community Health Center, which will serve an estimated 2,100 patients and create a projected 15 jobs.
$1,660,216 to expand services at 10 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 9,926 patients and create or save a projected 28 jobs.
$485,000 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
$31,531,287 made available in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to protect health care for the families hit hard by the economic crisis and some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
$1,024,579 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.
$129,440,556 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
$13,164,584 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
$4.6 million to address airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.
More than $9.7 million for state and local law enforcement assistance available through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. The JAG Program supports a variety of efforts such as hiring and support for law enforcement officers; multijurisdictional drug and gang task forces; crime prevention and domestic violence programs; and courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives.
REAL RESULTS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.
First Recovery-Funded Highway Project in New Hampshire About to Get Underway, With Contractor Pike Industries Estimating 250 Jobs Will Be Created. “The first state highway project to use federal stimulus funds is about to get under way. Crews will begin work on Route 101 next month, but signs are already up, alerting drivers in the Epping and Exeter areas. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the New Hampshire, Department of Transportation is receiving more than $147 million. The influx of cash is accelerating the DOT's 10-year plan for road projects, preventing layoffs and creating new jobs. ‘The good news is it's putting people to work,’ said Bill Boynton of the DOT. ‘Pike Industries is estimating 250 jobs will be created by these first stimulus projects.’ The 9.5-mile paving project that will be done at night. Pike Industries, of Belmont, N.H., won the bid, and company president Christian Zimmermann said that without the project, the company would have been forced to make layoffs. ‘I feel we would have had to layoff 50 people here in New Hampshire,’ Zimmermann said. ‘I hate to say it, but maybe up to 100 in New Hampshire.’” [WMUR (New Hampshire), 4/15/09 - WITH VIDEO]
Ø Ground Broken on New Hampshire’s First Stimulus Project, Which Will Support 250 Jobs, Including 50 New Jobs. “The mood was jovial Friday morning as U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood arrived to break ground on state’s first road project funded by federal stimulus money. ‘You didn’t bring your shovel.’ U.S. transportation secretary visits Epping Hodes responded, ‘I’ll sing a highway song.’ The project to resurface nearly 10 miles of Route 101 from Epping to Exeter will be paid for with $7.8 million in stimulus money. Lynch pointed out the 10-mile project is just the beginning of the transportation projects the state will be able to complete thanks to stimulus dollars. ‘The federal economic stimulus money is working here in New Hampshire,’ Lynch said. ‘In New Hampshire we’re going to be able to pave about 1,000 miles of roads.’ The project will also support 250 jobs, of which 50 will be newly created, officials said. LaHood said the stimulus funding will be available for projects for the next 18 months and there is a hope additional funding will be secured at the end of that time period. The local project was estimated to cost $8.5 million, but the company that ended up with the contract, Pike Industries, has a lower bid. While the project was in the state’s 10-year transportation plan, State Commissioner of Transportation George Campbell said it ‘absolutely’ would not have been completed this year without the stimulus funds.” [Portsmouth Herald, 4/17/09]
IT Consulting Firm Dynamics Research Corp. Was Selected to Receive Federal Contracts, Could Benefit From Stimulus and Hire Up to 200 Additional Workers. “A local company may soon be in a position to hire up to 200 new software engineers now that it is part of a $50 billion federal contract to provide consulting and information technology services to various government agencies. DRC, Dynamics Research Corp., headquartered on Frontage Road in Andover, has been awarded a government-wide acquisition contract, or GWAC, which allows the company to be used by any agency that needs IT and consulting work. ‘We believe this is a transformational contract for the growth of our company,’ said Larry O'Brien, vice president for business development at DRC, which employs 1,500 people worldwide and 300 at the Andover site. He said the company could hire between 20 and 200 new people to do work under the new contract, many of them in Andover, where the company's systems engineering and IT organizations are located. The way a GWAC deal works is that money is made available by the federal government to various agencies, but only allows certain companies to bid on the work... The timing of the announcement couldn't be better, he said, since there are hundreds of millions of dollars in stimulus money being made available to federal agencies to upgrade their computer systems. Because of that, the first contract could be signed in less than three months, O'Brien said.” [Eagle Tribune, 4/7/09]
New Hampshire Will Receive $23 Million In Stimulus Funds Over Three Years to Create Jobs and Increase Energy Efficiency By Weatherizing Homes For Low- To Moderate-Income Homeowners. “Over the next three years, New Hampshire will receive more than $23 million in federal stimulus money designed to create jobs and increase energy conservation by funding a major boost in home weatherization projects. The program is one piece of the job creation puzzle presented by the more than $900 million targeted for New Hampshire through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by Congress in February...’This is great, exciting stuff,’ said Charlie Wolfe, weatherization manger for the Dover-based Strafford County Community Action Committee. ‘We’ve talked before what we could do if we had more money, and now we will have a chance to make a big difference.’ According to the Department of Energy, the low- and moderate-income participants in the Weatherization Assistance Program on average see a 32 percent reduction in heating bills – cutting a $2,000 annual heating bill, for example, to about $1,400.” [New Hampshire Business Review, 4/10/09]
Project Manager On Long-Planned Road Construction: The Stimulus Money Will Really Help To Advance The Progress Of The Project; It Could Finish Two Years Ahead Of Schedule. “One day, drivers will be able to leave the F.E. Everett Turnpike, cross two major roads and two rivers, and land in the mouth of the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport – all in about three minutes. Providing that opportunity – in this case, a $172 million airport access road linking Bedford to Londonderry – has been no quick feat, but an injection of federal stimulus money means the project could wrap up two years ahead of schedule, according to state transportation officials. Planning for the new road has been in the works in some form for almost 20 years. State legislators first called for a study on better access to the airport in 1989. Public input and discussion on the merits of the project lasted through the 1990s... [It] at last began construction in 2007. Since that point, [Project Manager Alex Vogt] said, there's been a money issue, with federal funds coming in flat for a few years, and other major projects – such as the widening of Interstate 93 – competing for cash. But $23 million in stimulus money has now been made available to cover two major parts of the eight-phase project, bumping up the estimated completion date from 2013 to 2011, said Bill Boynton, the public information officer for the state department of transportation. ‘Now, we're moving forward pretty well, and this stimulus money will really help to advance it,’ said Vogt, who said the project may wrap up closer to 2012... The two phases that will be funded with federal stimulus money are road widening and ramp construction on the F.E. Everett Turnpike, north and south of the Bedford tolls, and earthwork west of the Merrimack River, plus road and ramp construction. The project will also stimulate jobs and economic development, Vogt said. Developers have been calling to find out when the road will open. ‘If you go back in history, since 1988, the airport has doubled and redoubled . . . the number of passengers and flights,’ Vogt said. "The need for this and the economic growth that will come with it will be a benefit. . . . It's been a long process, but the end is in sight.’” [The Nashua Telegraph, 4/12/09]
Homeless Shelter In Nashua That Had Been Waiting Seven Years To Open A Health Center Will Be Able To Do So Thanks To Recovery Act Funding (WITH VIDEO). “The economic stimulus money is beginning to flow. Some of the money is going to health center; it will be used to help people in need and create jobs. A homeless shelter in Nashua called ‘Harbor Homes’ has been waiting seven long years to open a health center. Two days ago, they learned they received a federal stimulus grant to open that much-needed homeless health center. They received a total of $930,000. It will reduce emergency room visits and offer much-needed health care. All six New England states received over $11 million geared at increasing health care for underserved populations. The money will also be used to create hundreds of jobs in New England. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act health grants total $155 million nationwide. It will assist 126 health care centers across the nation and create more than 5,000 jobs.” [NECN.com, 3/4/09
New Hampshire Expected to Receive $132 Million for Transportation Projects from Stimulus. “Federal stimulus money is headed to New Hampshire, and transportation officials said millions of dollars' worth of construction projects will begin soon. The Department of Transportation said that $54 million in construction projects will soon get under way, part of the $132 million the state expects to receive in transportation funds. Officials said the money won't just go into roads.” [WMUR, 2/27/09]
New Hampshire City’s HUD Received Over $168,000 in Stimulus Funding. “The Laconia Housing and Redevelopment Authority has been awarded funds as part of a $4.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter's office announced Monday that the Housing Authority will receive $168,063. The money will be used for capital and management activities, including modernization and development of housing facilities. Other housing authorities in the 1st Congressional District to receive funds are Manchester, Dover, Portsmouth, Somersworth and Rochester, Shea-Porter's office said. "This recovery package funding will ease the financial pressure on our local community governments and the people they serve," Shea-Porter said in the statement released by her office.” [Laconia Citizen, 3/3/09]
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Will Receive $24.5 Million To Repair Piers. “Local tradesmen and contractors hurting due to the economy are expected to get a boon from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, which will be contracting out work for $24.5 million in repairs to buildings and other facilities at the yard. The Maine and New Hampshire congressional delegation announced yesterday that the yard will be receiving the money as part of the federal stimulus package. ‘If not all, the vast majority of this will be contract work,’ said Paul O’Connor, president of the Metal Trades Council at the shipyard. ‘Our work-force is to work on submarines and associated work. We don’t have the capacity to take on this. It’s going to take hundreds of people to do this work.’ Some $11.2 million will be used to repair four berths, or piers, at the yard. O’Connor said. ‘We still use these but we haven’t had the financial resources to do the regular maintenance,’ said O’Connor. ‘Over the years, our piers degrade. With the Navy short of cash, the first thing they chop off is maintenance.’ The remaining $13.3 million will be used for substantial repairs and modernization of a training facility, the administrative building and a dry dock support facility.” [Seacoast Online, 3/24/09]