Gov. Paterson outlines stimulus spending plan

Gov. David Paterson spoke in Albany Wednesday, outlining the guidelines of how New York will spend about $25 billion in federal stimulus money.

The governor says he plans on using the money for nearly 2,100 projects, with the goal of creating as many jobs as possible.

"Right now we probably have $14 billion worth of projects that may be able to fit into the $4 billion infrastructure pot," New York Economic Recovery Chairman Tim Gilchrist says.

In Westchester, road improvements and bridge repairs top the list of needed infrastructure projects. A sewage treatment plan upgrade, which could cost millions of dollars, is also on the county?s to-do list. According to County Executive Andy Spano, Westchester is sure to receive federal financial aid, though the exact amount remains uncertain. Spano says there may also be money for an energy grant, which would replace the aged windows in the White Plains county office building.

Spano believes working with the stimulus money is challenging, because the federal aid package is the first of its kind. Paterson announced Wednesday that elected officials at the local, county and federal levels will take part in approving and overseeing the spending plan.

Assemblyman Richard Brodsky believes local officials should be involved to ensure no money is wasted.

"We don't want this done in secret by these Soviet-style bureaucracies, like the MTA and the Thruway Authority, without anyone in elective office knowing why some communities are benefiting and others aren't," Brodsky says.

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