The Obama administration is making $17.5 million available to Kentucky infrastructure projects. Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood says the money is from a pool of more than $470-million in unspent highway earmarks from fiscal years 2003 through 2006. Lahood says governors and state departments of transportation can use their unspent earmarks on any eligible highway, transit, passenger rail or port project. He says they must identify those projects by October 1st and obligate them by the end of the year. Lahood says,
“This is money that can really put people to work and our goal is to get every one of these dollars spent in every one of these states so that projects can move forward and people can go to work. That’s our goal.”
Lahood spoke to reporters during a noon conference call. Kentucky’s unspent funds come from a list of 18 projects, including nearly $2.3 million for the Paducah Waterfront Development Project. However, Lahood says the states are under no obligation to reauthorize the original projects.