Tag Archives: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Martin Pushes To Save Taxpayers’ Money

Representative Martin recently gave sponsor testimony to members of the House State Government Committee on House Bill 302, which when enacted would stop contractors from purchasing and erecting signs at project sites paid for by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

“Since October, I have urged hearings on this bill in committee and I am pleased that I was finally able to provide sponsor testimony,” Martin said. “With the taxpayers already overburdened by government spending, House Bill 302 is long overdue. The ARRA signs are little more than political propaganda and are a waste of tax dollars. The taxpayers in Ohio and across the country should not be required to fund these signs, especially during this time of economic difficulty.”

The signs cost approximately $1300 each to produce and erect. They are paid for by stimulus dollars and are written into the winning contract, officials say. The total price tag to the State of Ohio could add up to $1 million for the signs reading “Project Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.” The Federal Highway Administration did not require the posting of these signs but only recommended it. It was the Ohio Department of Transportation that required them to be posted at projects paid for by stimulus dollars.

“I encourage swift action by the House on this legislation,” Martin said. “Considering Ohio’s budget shortfall and the significant cuts our schools and the elderly have suffered, requiring tax dollars to go towards this propaganda is disgraceful. The people of Ohio are tired of government squandering, and it is time that legislators, both in Columbus and Washington, start listening to the people they were elected to serve.”

Federal Stimulus Money Saving Jobs in Non-Existent Ohio Districts

A recent report from the Ohio WatchDog organization states:

Over $5 billion of stimulus money has seen its way into the State of Ohio thanks to the federal stimulus. The main goal of the money is to create or retain jobs and stimulate the economy in Ohio. According to www.recovery.gov more than 17,00 jobs have been created or retained, 11 of which are in Congressional Districts that do not exist: 21st, 99th, 69th, 87th, 85th, 49th, 20th, 54th, 56th, and 00. These 11 jobs have cost more than $5.3 million; more than 80% of the jobs created or retained so far are located in the Central Ohio area.

The five million dollar question is who is pocketing all of the money? Could it be Obama and company? Cooperating Ohio politicians on Capitol Hill? Or maybe it is Gov. Strickland and company? After all, he is a member of good standing in the liberal club of Capitol Hill Democrats. And, they are the co-architects of the economic crisis and its salvation via tax increasing bailouts and corporation bailouts.

I think it would be a good idea to audit the Ohio Treasury for some unexpected budget balancing stimulus.

Source: OhioWatchDog.org November 17, 2009

Economic Stimulus Funding Xenia Capital Improvements (but Not Jobs)

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Economic Stimulus) was approved by the House and Senate on February 13, 2009. According to the Recovery.gov web site, the goal of the Economic Stimulus is to jumpstart the economy, create or save jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century.

How does the economic stimulus flow to communities like Xenia?

The money flows similar to the way federal money is disbursed, which is through the State of Ohio, then to local communities. The Governor’s Office has set up a website whereby communities and other entities can submit projects. Xenia, like many other cities submitted a wide range of projects that included street reconstruction, street extension, water line construction, park development and redevelopment, downtown streetscape, pedestrian and bicycle improvement and extension, retention of police manpower and high speed internet connection. The projects that were submitted to the Governor’s Office are then reviewed by the different State Departments. Projects that are considered “shovel ready” get priority funding.

Projects that have received funding in Xenia.

The Ohio Department of Transportation was the first Department to review and take action on project proposal. These projects were reviewed through the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC). This agency made recommendations on which projects to submit. The transportation and street enhancement related projects that were approved in Xenia include:

1. Innovation Way Road Extension – $2,267,551.00. This is located in a new industrial complex between Union Road and S.R. 380. The first phase of Innovation Way is currently being constructed. Economic Stimulus dollars will fund $2,267,551.00 of the $3,209,681 project cost.

2. East Main Street Streetscape Improvement between Whiteman Street and Collier Street – $209,348.00. This project involves replacement of trees, installation of ornamental lighting, replacement of sidewalks, curbs, installation of crosswalks and accessible ramps and provision of streetscape hardware like benches, trash receptacles, planters and banners.

3. Bicycle and Pedestrian Crossing Improvement from Xenia Station Hub to the Ohio-Erie Trail – $51,123.00. This involves improving the crosswalk with proper pavement marking, re-orienting of existing accessible ramps, widening of existing sidewalks on the east side of South Detroit Street between Hill Street and Washington Street and replacement of the catch basin with a storm manhole.

I could think of better ways to pay for those improvements to our city than to give Capitol Hill more reason to think in terms of ownership.

Source: Xenia Development Corner Newsletter, March 2009.