St. Petersburg (March 19, 2009) - Today, Mayor Rick Baker announced a new
directive which provides a rapid response to apply and administer federal
stimulus funds, provide a service to local agencies and community partners to
find out about other funds that might be available, and provide transparency
and accountability in the process.
"With the federal stimulus package signed and funding headed to the state and
local governments, we now have a responsibility to make investments in our
local economy to help St. Petersburg weather the current economic storm," said
Mayor Rick Baker. The mayor outlined the following objectives and approaches
to the administration of the program.
1. Ensure community participation, transparency and accountability in the
process. The following steps will be taken to accomplish this goal:
a. The city has created a one-stop Web site, www.StPeteRecovery.org, which
launched today. The Web site currently lists an inventory of federal stimulus
funds available, listing alongside each fund item whether the city is eligible
or the status of any application for funds or project implementation. As the
process continues, all programs being considered by the city, all applications
underway, and the status of all programs funded will be identified on the
b. The mayor has named Michael Connors, the city's Internal Services
Administrator, as the city's Recovery Manager. As such, Mr. Connors is
responsible for the administration of the effort and will report to each
televised, public, regular bi-weekly City Council business meeting on the
status of the city's efforts, beginning today. Council Chair Jeff Danner has
been appointed Council Member Karl Nurse to serve as the Council liaison to
the administration for the effort.
c. The city is inviting the community to join as partners in this effort. Our
Social Services manager is reaching out to local social service agencies and
other non-profits urging them to review the site for grant and other funds
that might be used to support projects within the city of St. Petersburg and
advise the city of their efforts to seek funds so we can track the
community-wide effort. John Long, through the St. Petersburg Chamber of
Commerce along with the city's Business Assistance Center, will similarly
coordinate efforts with the local business community.
d. The city will schedule a public forum on
Tuesday, March 31 [Revized: 4-1-09] Monday April 6th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Coliseum to communicate to the public, and receive input regarding the ongoing recovery effort. We will be inviting state and federal official, along with the public, which will have an opportunity to provide direct comments and suggestions via a link under StPeteRecovery.org.
2. Fully utilize the available stimulus support in a manner which provides
investments in the short term and supports the local economy in the long term
- but which also results in a sustainable city budget for future years. To
a. The mayor has issued a staff directive that requires all city management
staff to review the list of funds available and for each city director to
respond to the mayor within five working days with recommendations of projects
that might be eligible for funding. Each director will then give weekly
reports to the Recovery Manager on the status of any potential applications.
b. The budget department has been directed to evaluate the ongoing operating
fiscal impact of all stimulus investments, and the impact on future city
budgets - the analysis will be provided to the public and City Council as part
of the budget and stimulus application process.
3. Coordinate the federal stimulus programs with other non-stimulus city
recovery efforts, including, among others:
a. Bank on St. Petersburg, whereby the city is working with a coalition of
lenders to help families that currently do not use the services of a bank to
enter the financial mainstream and start saving for the future.
b. The Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which leverages $9.4 million in
federal funds to enable the city to purchase, rehabilitate and resell homes
that were foreclosed upon, enhancing neighborhood vitality and providing
affordable housing opportunities.
c. The proposed Codes Department Lien Amnesty Program, which will allow St.
Petersburg property owners who currently have liens issued by the Code
Enforcement Board or Special Magistrate to pay only 20 percent of their
outstanding lien after application approval.
Federal stimulus funds already anticipated for the City of St. Petersburg
include nearly $600,000 from the Community Development Block Grant fund,
$915,000 from the Homeless Prevention fund and approximately $1.3 million for
public safety through the Byrne Justice Grant program.
Additionally, the city will receive $2.5 million in federal appropriations
from the recently passed omnibus spending bill for youth summer jobs, energy
and infrastructure projects.
"City Council fully supports the recovery effort by the mayor and
administration and looks forward to working with staff to ensure every
opportunity is taken full advantage of," said Council Chair Jeff Danner. "This
crisis is an opportunity to grow a green jobs economy, which saves us all
money and creates millions of jobs," added Council Member Karl Nurse.
For more information, contact StPeteRecovery at 727-893-7087 or visit