Tag Archives: economic stimulus

Ohio Leads Nation Using Stimulus Funds For Water And Sewer Projects

As reported by the Dayton Daily News, Ohio leads the nation with 274 sewer projects being funded by stimulus dollars. Ohio also ranked third with 62 drinking water projects.

“All told, 700 jobs are being created or retained with the work, officials said. A little more than $279 million in stimulus funds are matched with $196.1 million of low-interest loan money for the projects.”

The inference here is that it takes a little over $678,000 to keep 700 water works and construction workers employed. The report did mention for how long.

At one point, City of Xenia officials thought they might be able to get stimulus funds to repair a retaining wall at Shawnee Park. I’m sure that would also retain a few workers as well.

I must confess the recent repair of the big hole in front of the sewer on my block was appreciated. If it were not for the multi-billion dollar tax bill at the stimulus gold rush I would hope it was paid for by Obama and Company. It’s that bankrupting stimulus repayment that is too frightening to garnish any confidence in a genuine financial recovery.

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.

City officials joining the spending spree of congressional lawbreakers

During the March 12 Council meeting, City Manager Jim Percival called on the Council to prioritize four infrastructure improvement projects in order to apply for federal stimulus money.

Percival told the Council that on Thursday, February 19, the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) asked all local jurisdictions to submit proposals to them for projects they would like to see accomplished with American Recovery & Reinvestment Act monies. At a presentation last night, they learned that 88 projects totaling almost $70 million were submitted to MVRPC and they actually only have $17.3 million to spend on highway projects. MVRPC has another $22 million to spend on transit projects. Some of that money will be coming to Greene County through Greene CATS.

He continued, saying,

Because time is of the essence in claiming these funds, the local jurisdictions were only given eight days to submit projects for consideration. Accordingly, the City of Xenia submitted four (4) projects that were deemed eligible for funding consideration. The four projects and their associated funding requests are ranked in order of priority:

Priority One: Miami Avenue Street Rehabilitation and Drainage Improvements ($186,815)

Priority Two: Cincinnati Avenue Pavement and Sidewalk Rehabilitation ($874,273)

Priority Three: Xenia Downtown Streetscape Improvement ($1,282,931)

Priority Four: Bicycle and Pedestrian Crossing Improvement from Xenia Station to Ohio Erie Trail ($51,123).

Why didn’t city administrators propose paving the city’s side streets? They could have justified it by showing how people they would need to employ to get the job done.

The federal stimulus money available to municipalities like Xenia are those funds originating from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This is one of a number of recent lawless actions perpetrated by Congressional Democrats. It was criminal because Democrats violated an underlying law of lawmaking: giving all congressional lawmakers and the President a copy of proposed laws and time to evaluate and amend them. This underlying law is implied in Presidential review and veto clause of the Constitution as well as in the Full Faith and Credit clause. The Democrats even violated their own rules of lawmaking procedures by not making available the new 1,419 page Act 3 calendar days in advance of the vote.

The federal stimulus money being offered to local communities may be helpful but it also stolen money, which makes takers complicit in the crime. It is, moreover, a form of future taxation without representation justified by economic crisis that federal lawmakers helped to create. Besides the legal and moral issues, the stimulus money is supposed to either create or sustain jobs. How many local jobs will be created or how many threatened jobs will be saved in Xenia and elsewhere by the stolen money?

What does Obama’s stimulus plan, outdated infrastructure, and gas taxes have in common

In a January 10 editorial, the New York Times approved Obama’s big spending stimulus plan but complained about his plans to continue the past era of tax cuts. One of part of the approved plan is $500 billion to bolster unemployment benefits, aid to states, and for investment in the nation’s crumbling and outdated infrastructure.

In an article critical of the Times editorial, Don Feder of Accuracy in Media rightly observed that “no matter how much the states get for highway repairs (from the gas tax, general revenue, tolls and federal aid), the infrastructure is still crumbling and outdated.”

The question taxpayers and gasoline consumers should be asking is why that is. The national average tax on gasoline is 47 cents per gallon. That means the amount of gas taxes collected by federal, state and local governments to maintain our roadways is a meager $66.5 billion a year. And the federal government returns to the states 90.5% of its portion of the national gas tax, which is 18.4 percent.

Are states using their part of the tax pie for projects other than maintaining our roadways?

We could probably define Obama’s plan as a pork-barrel bailout stimulating welfare program–what do you think?