The District can expect to get more than $28 million in new federal funds this fiscal year under the recently enacted emergency jobs bill, with the money applied toward a wide range of expanded services, from highway repair to summer jobs to historic preservation.
But the legislation will do little to help the city create jobs, according to Matthew F. Shannon, D.C. director of employment services.
"It's just a drop in the bucket as far as jobs," said Shannon, who is coordinating the work on proposals for using the funds. "This is not a traditional jobs bill. It is a money bill that funds specific projects." While the money arrives under the rubric of a jobs bill, Congress included funding for several programs that do not relate directly to jobs creation.
Several of the allocations are subject to the city submitting applications with program proposals to the federal government, and others require matching with local funds, Shannon said. The $28 million total is based on figures from federal and city officials.
The added funds will enable the city to offer more services through this fiscal year, but the money must all be obligated or spent by Sept. 30, D.C. Budget Director Elizabeth Reveal said.
"It's a one-shot kind of thing," Reveal said, adding that generally the funds will not help the city deal with its projected budget shortfall.
The largest chunks of money the city will get are an estimated $8.75 million for highway and road repair and $5.7 million for mass transit, according to federal and local officials.
D.C. Transportation Director Thomas Downs said the mass transit money probably would be used for a new bus garage.
The District also is entitled to $4.8 million in community development block grants (CDBG), officials said. Of this, half can be used for public service jobs.
The city is working on proposals to use some of the CDBG funds for a "well-rounded program" within a low- or moderate-income community or housing project by which residents would be trained for work within the community, such as day-care, health or crime prevention, Shannon said. Mayor Marion Barry will receive options on this and other parts of the jobs bill and will decide which to submit to the federal government.
D.C. also is to get funds in the following areas:
* Maternal and child health care, $1.6 million, probably to be funneled into existing programs.
* Public works projects, $1.5 million, possibly to be used to repair roofs in government buildings.
* Summer jobs, $544,000, bringing the total federal contribution to $8.2 million. This will add about 1,000 jobs to the 16,000 previously planned, Shannon estimated.
* Training for displaced workers, about $200,000, tripling the previous level of the program in the city. This will enable job search assistance for 260 persons of which 75 will get job skills training, Shannon said.
* Work-study programs for high school graduates, $392,000.
* Shelters for the homeless, $854,000, which will keep city shelters open this summer.
* Social services bloc grants, $664,000, and community services bloc grants, $240,000. It is unclear just what these funds can be used for, Shannon said.
* Park repairs, $400,000, to be used to renovate recreation centers, and another $264,000 for landscaping and water conservation.
* Library construction and improvement, nearly $600,000.
* Historic preservation, $338,632.