Charles J. Kolling, Jr., a State Government Relations professional with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Harrisburg office, was quoted in two recent articles about plans for distributing stimulus monies coming into the Western Pennsylvania-region — "County mulls how to use stimulus funds," published in the May 23, 2009, edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and "Stimulus targets self-sufficiency," published in the May 29, 2009, edition of the New Pittsburgh Courier.

According to the Post-Gazette article, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato recently met with a number of county department heads, municipal leaders and representatives of community organizations to discuss how the money will be allocated.

As explained in the article, "In disbursing the stimulus funds, Mr. Onorato said 'accountability is going to be a big issue with us. We will want to show how we spend every penny we get.' In addition, he said, the county will list on its Web site the stimulus funds as they come in, together with the application requirements and deadlines for each program."

Kolling weighed in on the issues, cautioning county and municipal officials to consult frequently with both state and federal legislators, because "in the end, they are the ones who are going to control access to the funding."

"Much of the funding is going to come through existing state programs, and so it is very important that you interface with your legislators," he said.

In the Pittsburgh Courier article, Kolling provided a breakdown of how the funds are being appropriated statewide.

"Don't be intimidated by all this information and the hoops you have to jump through. The money is there," Kolling said. "I encourage you to meet with your legislators. The sooner you can get applications in the better it's going to be."