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February 15, 2009

$100 million for small yards in stimulus bill

The just-passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes $100 million for MARAD to distribute as supplemental grants for the assistance of small shipyards, $60 million to states for ferry and ferry terminal projects, $450 million for the Coast Guard for acquisition, construction and improvements--and a whopping $4.6 billion for the Corps of Engineers.

The $100 million for the small shipyards program is a massive increase. In April last year, Marad announced $9.8 million in grants to 19 shipyards-- the largest being $863,515 to Derecktor, Bridgeport, for a welding tank, welding machines, air casters, and hydraulic bender and the smallest being $66,000 to Leevac for software.

The purpose of the grants is to make capital and infrastructure improvements that facilitate the efficiency, cost-effectiveness and quality of domestic ship construction, conversion or repair for commercial and federal government use. The grants cover a maximum of 75-percent of the estimated cost of improvements. The companies are responsible for the remainder.

The U.S. Coast Guard gets $450 million for acquisition, construction, and Improvements of which $195 million is for shore facilities and aids to navigation facilities; and $255 million "for priority procurements due to materials and labor cost increases, and to repair, renovate, assess, or improve vessels."

The $4.6 billion for the Corps of Engineers includes $2 billion for construction; $1.9 billion for operations and maintenance; $500 million for the Mississippi River and Tributaries account; $25 million for the regulatory account; $25 million for investigations; $100 million for the formerly used sites remedial action program; and, $50 million for flood control and coastal emergencies

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