By Hannah Wallace March 31, 2009

Brian Baker, director of design and project manager, Solar Source

We would greatly benefit from it. The plan would feed our community with money from the government for schools, hospitals and other commercial buildings. Lately, I think our business has increased because of the economy. I think it’s because of the fuel costs; there are more and more buildings wanting to save money on their electricity. Solar energy captures the sun’s rays, makes electricity, and therefore it slows down the demand for electricity. We are primarily commercial more than residential. We provide our installation services statewide, in the Bahamas, and we even have had requests from the Middle East for our services.

Michael Horan, president, Ajax Paving Industries

Stay in business, that’s how we can be in position. The infrastructure side of it means there’ll be work to bid on, and we’ll have chances of getting some of that work. But there’ll be plenty of competition. I haven’t seen where any of those infrastructure projects are going to be. If they’re all on the east coast, they’re not going to help me. Until the final list of projects comes out, we won’t know. Hopefully there’ll be some of that work here, enough to increase our backlog. I mean, I’m still fairly busy right now. I was really excited when they said they were going to be giving $7.4 billion to Florida [for infrastructure], but they’re not; it’s $1.4 billion. Don’t get me wrong, it’ll be helpful. It’ll keep us from laying off people. I don’t think it’s going to create so much work that we’ll have to hire more people. It’ll be more saving jobs than creating new ones.

Michael Kennedy, executive vice president, Wilson Miller

We do engineering, planning and surveying and other work, and to a large extent, a lot of the work that will be covered under the stimulus plan is already designed—shovel-ready. There will be some work come out of it for us, but mainly in the area of design-build. We’ve been positioning ourselves actually for the last six months, aligning with various builders and companies, so when things came out and projects were identified, we’d be in place. We’ve been concentrating on transportation. Schools, libraries, they’ll be part of it, but not as big a part in our mind. Word’s just trickling down now what the projects are going to be, and we don’t know how the government agencies are going to hand it out. Hopefully having done work with the governmental agencies prior to this, they have confidence in the quality of our work. We’ll see a lot more details come out in the next six months.

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