SONOMA COUNTY - Applications totaling more than $17.5 million in grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act were approved for Sonoma County. Several other grant requests are pending.

"These federal stimulus dollars are benefitting Sonoma County in many ways," said Board of Supervisors Chairman Paul Kelley. "The works themselves are important for the residents of the county, and the boost to our economy is terrific. The addition of 1,500 jobs is exactly what we need right now."

The energy-efficiency grant funds seven different energy projects and will allow the county to leverage an additional $5.5 million for the installation of solar panels at county facilities.

The workforce-investment grant will fund 330 seasonal jobs for county youth, retraining for out-of-work adults and assistance to employers in minimizing effects of layoffs.

Community-development grant uses include repairs and upgrades to public and nonprofit facilities, improvement of disabled access to public facilities and funding for a new rapid-response program to prevent homelessness.

The grant for road and bridge chip sealing will extend the life of county roads at a time when the effects of the state budget crisis on the county's budget for road and bridge maintenance are still unknown.

A summary of ARRA grants awarded to Sonoma County, their amounts and the approximate number of jobs created

*figures are approximate

ProjectAmount*Jobs*Road and bridge chip sealing$6,300,000200Energy efficiency and conservation$1,900,000790Workforce Investment Act$3,700,000335Community development$1,350,00083Purchase and maintenance of transit buses$2,500,000naAirport terminal renovation$1,685,000110Criminal justice services$279,000naTotal$17,714,000