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President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009. The Recovery Act is an unprecedented effort to jumpstart our economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so that the country can thrive in the 21st century.
From the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: For an additional amount for Building and Facilities $176,000,000 for work on deferred maintenance at Agricultural Research Service facilities: Provided, That priority in the use of such funds shall be given to critical deferred maintenance, to projects that can be completed, and to activities that can commence promptly following enactment of this Act. (Recovery Act, H.R. 1-3)
The principal objective of the Recovery Act is job creation. Through the completion of $176 million of critical deferred maintenance work at ARS facilities across the country, the agencys Recovery Act program will create about 1,900 jobs.
ARS is pleased to utilize Recovery Act (ARRA) funds to take care of critical deferred maintenance on some of our laboratory research facilities across the Nation. These projects not only will help revitalize local economies by creating jobs and supporting local businesses that supply needed construction products and services, the results of the agriculture and food product research that takes place in these laboratories supports the agricultural economy, contributing to its high productivity and efficiency.
Most important of all the outcomes of ARS research and that of our many cooperators provide the science and technology that enables the U.S. agriculture and food system to provide consumers the highest quality and most abundant, safest, nutritious, and affordable food supply in the world. ARRA funding will assist ARS in sustaining the efficiency of our research performance and their benefits to the public.
Edward B. Knipling
Identifying Facility Repairs to Be Funded Under the Recovery Act
All of the projects selected for Recovery Act funding were taken from the ARS Capital Project and Repair Plan, a plan that was developed in accordance with the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Building Block Plan, as required by Executive Order (E.O.) 13327, Federal Real Property Asset Management.
In all instances, selected projects meet the criteria of needing critical deferred maintenance--maintenance associated with critical systems such as HVAC, electric, roofing, exterior closure and plumbing. On many of the projects, adjacent building components will also be replaced as a consequence of the deferred maintenance work. (For example, to replace plumbing it will be necessary to remove laboratory casework; if the condition of the casework warrants, the scope of work will include replacing the casework).
Each specific project was selected based on the high priority of the research program and how it will enhance the ARS core research capacity at that location. Some of the projects selected already have a design for addressing the deferred maintenance work. Having an existing design allows the construction phase of the work to begin much earlier than it would for a facility without a design, resulting in faster job creation.
The program criteria used to identify high priority research programs and the associated need for essential research facility capacity are:
List of Projects
The list includes work at 36 locations in 28 states and the District of Columbia.