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About $8.4 million in stimulus funds sent to Dakota County

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news Hastings, 55033
Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

It has been almost two years since the federal government passed the federal stimulus package, also known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which provided more than $778 billion for infrastructure projects, health care, education, housing, energy efficiency programs, state and local fiscal relief, and personal and tax credits.

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Dakota County has applied for and received some of the funds in the past two years. Most recently, about $8.4 million in grant funds were received.

Here's a breakdown of the funds:

Homeless prevention and rapid re-housing

Activities funded by the $704,000 grant continue to provide outreach services and housing subsidies both to prevent homelessness and to re-house individuals and families who have already lost their housing. During 2010, about 300 adults and children received services and funding through this grant. About $269,000 or 38 percent, of the grant has been spent. All funds must be spent by mid-2012. The focus will remain as it has in the past.

Energy efficiency and

conservation block grant

This grant is directed at improving energy efficiency in county buildings. In 2010, two of the block-funded projects were finished and two additional projects should be completed by the end of March. The last of the five projects is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

A total of $310,00 of the $658,400 grant has been spent.

The grant-funded project has included energy audits in all county buildings. The audits resulted in $610,000 in funding with the five-year building capital improvement program to implement the highest priority building improvements.

A roof insulation project in the Judicial Center in Hastings showed significant energy savings. Likewise, 90 percent of all county water heaters will be replaced with high-efficiency units within a five-year period. Many of the new water heaters are 100 percent more efficient than those that were replaced.

For example, three water heaters that were replaced in the Law Enforcement Center operated at a 95 percent efficiency, rather than the 50 to 55 percent efficiency of the ones replaced. The heaters will provide adequate hot water throughout the jail for the more than 75,000 showers taken there every year.

Public Health immunizations

The Public Health Department received a grant of almost $20,000 to promote adolescent and adult vaccinations among providers, community organizers and the public. About $4,300 has been spent. Most of the remaining allocation is designated for a part-time public health nurse.

Byrne (judge adjutant general, or JAG) for law enforcement officials

Cities across the county are continuing to use the almost $300,000 in this funding. The funding is geared primarily toward the purchase of equipment.

The City of Hastings purchased two digital video camera systems for its squad cars.

Workforce Investment

The total amount of the county's portion of the grant was $993,000. The grant is almost entirely spent. The funding served 150 clients, mostly through training.

The county received about $600,000 for adult and youth programs. Grant funds provided jobs for youth, training and other services.

Transportation

County Road 96 in Greenvale and Waterford townships was completed in July. The project was expected to cost $2 million, but the project cost came in lower at $1. 67 million. All of that $1.67 million is expected to be reimbursed by stimulus funding.

The improvement of County Road 73 (Akron Avenue) in Rosemount will be partly offset by stimulus funding. About $3.5 million is expected for this project, which will cover all of the county costs.

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