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June 22nd, 2009
04:10 PM ET

$1.15 million for a waterless lake?

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Anna Duning
AC 360º Intern

Program Note: Tonight on AC 360º, we’re keeping them honest and taking a closer look at one of these projects: a $5.4 million “Eco-Passage” in Lake Jackson, Florida that protects turtles and other wildlife from becoming road-kill.

Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D., of Oklahoma has a “second opinion” about the $787 billion stimulus bill that passed in Congress earlier this year. In his recently released  report, “100 Stimulus Projects: A Second Opinion,” Sen. Coburn reviews 100 projects and programs funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that, he believes, have the potential to fail or waste near $5.5 billion in tax-payer money.

Here’s a quick look at other projects detailed in the report that American tax-payers may find questionable:

  • A nearly empty lake in Oklahoma is being provided with almost $1.15 million for a new guardrail. Optima Lake was built in the 1960’s to improve water supply in the arid region, but the Geological Society of America says the lake loses 100 percent of its inflowing water to evaporation.
  • A bridge in Iowa County, Wisconsin will receive $430,000 for repairs, but according to the report, does not carry more than 10 cars a day.  Another bridge in rural Wisconsin will receive $840,000 to repair damage and carries an average 260 vehicles a day, primarily to a golf course and Rusty’s Backwater Saloon.  
  • At around $300 a piece, road signs are being put up at construction sites to notify drivers that the projects are being paid for with stimulus money. All together, the signs could cost up to $150,000.
  • Nantucket’s Marine and Coastal Resources Department will receive $2 million to monitor scallop reproduction and habitat.
  • A state-run liquor warehouse in Montana will receive $2.2 million in stimulus money to install skylights in its ceiling.
  • Is your home-town receiving stimulus cash? Are those funds being put to good use? Read Sen. Coburn’s report and decide for yourself.


    Filed under: 360° Radar • Keeping Them Honest
    soundoff (4 Responses)
    1. Annie Kate

      The most ridiculous expenditure is the one for the signs to inform people that the project is not being paid for by stimulus money – will they now put up more signs saying the signs WERE paid for with stimulus money? Is our Congress capable of learning anything and modifying their behavior to stop doing these ridiculous and expensive things? Seems like they are not.

      June 22, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
    2. Terri

      Unfortunate that we have learned nothing from recent events. Everyone...lets please, please , please quit voting these jokers back into office time and time again.

      June 22, 2009 at 9:11 pm |
    3. Cynthia Tidwell

      I'm dismayed about the negative comments regarding construction of wildlife crossings in Florida. The $ amount is peanuts compared to the destruction of living species–and after all, the highway disrupted the pattern that the Creator programmed into these animals. Here in the Albq. area motorists and truckers tend to run into bears, elk, and deer... wildlife crossings that go under Interstate 40 are having a positive effect. If anyone hits an object weighing 30 – 40 lbs. or more, it's going to do an awful lot of damage to the vehicle, and may cause injuries or even death to the humans (since it seems animals don't count for anything in your report). Get with the program, people! We need to save what we can, and not throw out any of the parts.

      June 22, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
    4. Karen

      thats government for you,

      You think GM was bad? just wait until the government runs it.

      June 22, 2009 at 5:28 pm |