Orange County’s Share of Economic Stimulus Funds Tops $200 Million
(Santa Ana) Orange County’s share of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is now estimated at more than $200 million, the largest economic benefit being the elimination of the Alternative Minimum Tax on Private Activity Bonds for the John Wayne Airport Improvement Project. This will reduce the bond expenses by up to $122.8 million.
“This funding will be used to support important infrastructure projects that are underway in Orange County,” said Patricia C. Bates, Board Chair and Fifth District Supervisor. “These much needed projects will help improve our local economy and preserve and create jobs.”
Other advantages include the more than $12 million allotted to OC Community Resources for job training and employment services. Reductions in required matching amounts for services provided through the Social Services Agency will save the County more than $14 million.
Perhaps the largest amount of funding comes from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps will spend more than $50 million in Orange County on projects selected because of their anticipated economic and environmental returns.
Projects include the Santa Ana River Mainstem, which will receive $26.5 million for river bank improvements and $5.2 million for maintenance of the Santa Ana River, Carbon Canyon, Prado Dam and Fullerton Dam, including the removal of sediment, vegetation and graffiti. Other projects include $17.3 million to complete the environmental restoration of Upper Newport Bay. This project will complete the dredging of sediment basins, resulting in a 20-year maintenance cycle.
“The Santa Ana River Project has been an important regional undertaking for many years,” said Supervisor Janet Nguyen, Vice Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “This funding will allow for the completion, or near completion, of these important and necessary infrastructure projects that will protect our County for years to come.”
Supervisor Janet Nguyen represents the First District on the Orange County Board of Supervisors as Vice Chair. She also serves as Chair of the OCTA’s Transit Committee. She represents more than 600,000 people, covering the cities of Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Westminster and the unincorporated community of Midway City. Orange County ranks sixth in the nation as the most populous county and has the nation’s seventh highest annual budget.