Stimulus dollars are starting to flow into local coffers, helping cities go "green" and health centers to serve the newly uninsured.
The nearly $800 billion stimulus bill signed by President Barack Obama last month includes millions for Alameda County cities to make their operations more energy efficient.
Fremont is getting a nearly $1.9 million energy block grant; Hayward will receive $1.36 million; San Leandro $732,400; Union City $638,200; and Newark $173,200.
"These funds are a great example of how the recovery and reinvestment package is helping our communities," Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, said in a prepared statement.
Cities can use the funds for various programs, including installation of solar panels and energy-efficient heating and cooling units, transportation improvements to reduce congestion and pollution and building code updates that require more energy efficient construction.
"This is great news," said San Leandro City Manager Steve Hollister, noting that the city had been expecting only $475,000 from the legislation, which doles out money to cities based on population. San Leandro officials have discussed using the money to add more hybrids and electric vehicles to its fleet and installing solar panels atop city buildings.
Hayward will consider using the funds for solar installations and helping finance energy-efficient modifications to commercial buildings and homes, City Manager Greg Jones said. Fremont and Union City haven't discussed their plans for the money, officials said. The projects in each city will need the approval of their city councils.
The stimulus bill also provided money for two local nonprofit health-care providers.
During the next two years, the Tri-City Health Center in Fremont will receive $386,058 and the Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center in Union City will receive $261,586.
"Without this money we couldn't continue to meet demand," Tri-City Health Center CEO Kathy Lievre said. The center has seen a 10 percent spike in new patients since January, she said, as more people lose their jobs and their health insurance.
The new money will go toward hiring another care provider, medical assistant and clerk, which should provide for about 1,000 visits per year, she said.
Staff writers Eric Kurhi and Karen Holzmeister contributed to this story. Matthew Artz covers Fremont. He can be reached at 510-353-7002 or email@example.com. Read his blog posts at www.ibabuzz.com/tricitybeat/.