After a flurry of stimulus spending, questionable projects pile up
By: Susan Ferrechio
Chief Congressional Correspondent
November 3, 2009
The $787 billion stimulus bill was passed in February and was promised as a job saver and economy booster. Here is where some of the money went:
- $300,000 for a GPS-equipped helicopter to hunt for radioactive rabbit droppings at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington state.
- $30 million for a spring training baseball complex for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.
- $11 million for Microsoft to build a bridge connecting its two headquarter campuses in Redmond, Wash., which are separated by a highway.
- $430,000 to repair a bridge in Iowa County, Wis., that carries 10 or fewer cars per day.
- $800,000 for the John Murtha Airport in Johnstown, Pa., serving about 20 passengers per day, to build a backup runway.
- $219,000 for Syracuse University to study the sex lives of freshmen women.
- $2.3 million for the U.S. Forest Service to rear large numbers of arthropods, including the Asian longhorned beetle, the nun moth and the woolly adelgid.
- $3.4 million for a 13-foot tunnel for turtles and other wildlife attempting to cross U.S. 27 in Lake Jackson, Fla.
- $1.15 million to install a guardrail for a persistently dry lake bed in Guymon, Okla.
- $9.38 million to renovate a century-old train depot in Lancaster County, Pa., that has not been used for three decades.
- $2.5 million in stimulus checks sent to the deceased.
- $6 million for a snow-making facility in Duluth, Minn.
- $173,834 to weatherize eight pickup trucks in Madison County, Ill.
- $20,000 for a fish sperm freezer at the Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery in South Dakota.
- $380,000 to spay and neuter pets in Wichita, Kan.
- $300 apiece for thousands of signs at road construction sites across the country announcing that the projects are funded by stimulus money.
- $1.5 million for a fence to block would-be jumpers from leaping off the All-American Bridge in Akron, Ohio.
- $1 million to study the health effects of environmentally friendly public housing on 300 people in Chicago.
- $356,000 for Indiana University to study childhood comprehension of foreign accents compared with native speech.
- $983,952 for street beautification in Ann Arbor, Mich., including decorative lighting, trees, benches and bike paths.
- $148,438 for Washington State University to analyze the use of marijuana in conjunction with medications like morphine.
- $462,000 to purchase 22 concrete toilets for use in the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri
- $3.1 million to transform a canal barge into a floating museum that will travel the Erie Canal in New York state.
- $1.3 million on government arts jobs in Maine, including $30,000 for basket makers, $20,000 for storytelling and $12,500 for a music festival.
- $71,000 for a hybrid car to be used by student drivers in Colchester, Vt., as well as a plug-in hybrid for town workers decked out with a sign touting the vehicle's energy efficiency.
- $1 million for Portland, Ore., to replace 100 aging bike lockers and build a garage that would house 250 bicycles.
Sources: News reports, Office of the Senate Minority Leader, Office of Sen. Tom Coburn