Web-based tools track federal stimulus spending
Looking for a slice of stimulus funds? Online maps show where the money goes.
In the past few months, the federal government has provided an unprecedented
amount of money into the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) , investing in everything from weatherization
to renewable energy to building energy-efficiency retrofits. Unfortunately,
finding where the recovery funds are going and bidding on projects can be a
complex and time-consuming process. While the government has its own Recovery.gov website, two other web-based tools
provide more detailed and clearer information for engineers and engineering firms.
According to GreenBiz.com ,
the Seattle-based tech company Onvia has created a site
that is tracking thousands of stimulus projects at the state, county, and local
level. From building a transit center in Washtenaw,
Mich., to decommissioning nuclear facilities
in South Carolina, Recovery.org is a tool that pinpoints specific
government projects and has information regarding the amount of money, number
of employees, and the work required at each construction site. The distribution
of funds is visually represented on the map, and users can view a list of
projects in each geographical location.
Another useful tool was created by the GreenBiz editorial staff itself. This interactive Google map is accessible
to anyone and shows where federal buildings and courthouses will be built or retrofitted
with stimulus money. The GreenBiz map, unlike the Onvia site, which includes
any construction work, shows building sites only, and also has the amount of
money allotted to each contract.
These sites may become more relevant after the Dept. of
Energy announced on Aug. 10 that it was allotting $20 million to “lead by example” in greening
the federal buildings of 15 government agencies.