Sunday, January 11, 2009

From Springfield MA to Tulsa OK – Economic Stimulus Wish Lists – You’re Tax Dollars at Risk!

As the debate rages in the Legislature over particulars of Mr. Obama’s proposed economic stimulus plan, cities and states across the nation are preparing lists of “shovel ready” projects that are designed to pour billions of taxpayers’ money into two-year construction projects.

One needs only to look at the proposed projects lists of two urban cities to understand just how much waste we can expect in a short period of time – understanding that once the buildings, roadways and “other items” are constructed - the jobs will be gone and “we the people” will be in deep debt.

The Springfield, MA stimulus wish list has a $1 billion dollar price tag.
The List in total:

Clean Energy and Efficiency
--Green Neighborhoods Program totaling $6,000,000
--Single Stream Recycling Program Solid Waste totaling $3,000,000
--Energy Savings Contractor (ESCO) Project Block 11 $ 111 totaling $45,000,000
--Oil Tank Removal - City-Wide totaling $1,200,000
--Indoor Air Quality Work in Schools totaling $18,050,000

Education Facilities
--School Roof Replacements - City-wide (17) totaling $15,615,000
--School Doors and Window Replacements - City-wide (14) totaling $19,030,000
--School Restroom Renovations - City-wide (8) totaling $4,160,000
--Renovation and Repair to the Kennedy Middle School Pool totaling $3.5 million
--Porter Lake Skate House/ECOS Environmental Center of Schools totaling $2,500,000
--SAFE Middle School Renovation totaling $9,600,000
--Construction of New Leadership Charter School totaling $45,000,000
--Roger L. Putnam Vocation Technical High School totaling $125,000,000
--Installation and Replacement of Portable Classroom Units - 3 school totaling $3,000,000
--Renovation of ball fields and construction of outdoor classroom at Rebecca Johnson totaling $700,000
--Replacement of Forest Park Middle School totaling $50,000,000
--Replacement of DeBerry School floor totaling $2.4 million
--General School Repairs totaling $15,800,000
--Middle School Renovation Projects - 3 sites totaling $55,500,000
--School Facility Upgrades - 3 schools totaling $45,000,000
--Job Training with Hampden County Sheriff's Dept. totaling $7,500,000
--Elementary School Replacement - 4 schools totaling $160,000,000

Transportation
--Storm water improvements totaling $250,000
--Arterial Streets totaling $5 million
--Residential Streets totaling $5 million
--Sidewalk Improvements totaling $1.5 million
--Taylor Street Reconstruction totaling $3 million
--Private Way Paving totaling $5 million
--Traffic Signal Upgrade Intersection Sumner/Allen and Abbott Sts. Totaling $1,200,000
--Greenleaf Road Rehabilitation totaling $300,000
--Main and State Street Corridor Facade Program totaling $2,000,000
--Transportation Projects City-Wide totaling $1,428,000
--Forest Park Paving totaling $300,000
--Reconstruction/resurfacing of Main St. facade in the South End totaling $3,000,000
--West Street Bridge totaling $2,000,000

Information Technology
--Springfield Public Schools Data Center and Data Storage Warehouse totaling $3,500,000
--Public School Classroom Technology and Information Systems Upgrades totaling $20,000,000
--School and Municipal Building Security/Camera, Safety Upgrades totaling $12,500,000

Private Development
--Main Street Improvements totaling $3.189 million
--Acquisition of the Asylum totaling $600,000
--Court Square Redevelopment totaling $5 million
--Downtown Market Rate Housing Fund totaling $10,000,000
--Grow Springfield Fund totaling $7,000,000
--Indian Orchard Business Park totaling $3,500,000
--Chestnut Junior High School totaling $2,000,000
--State Street Alliance Redevelopment Projects $2,000,000

State Facilities and Courts
--Relocation and Expansion of the Renaissance School to S.T.C.C. totaling $10.5 million
--Construction of STCC parking garage totaling $15,000,000
--Former Federal Building Redevelopment totaling $5,150,000
--Reconstruction of MassMutual Garage totaling $34,000,000

Municipal Facilities
--Renovation and Repairs to Old First Church totaling $6.5 million
--Neighborhood Parks Improvements totaling $6,000,000
--Open Space Improvements/Public Greenway totaling $5,430,000
--Regional Park Improvements totaling $5,750,000
--Recreational Infrastructure Improvements totaling $5,400,000
--Riverfront Park Master Plan and Upgrades totaling $5,000,000
--Swan Pond Erosion and Bank Stabilization totaling $250,000
--Zoo Renovation/Drainage Project totaling $4,500,000
--School and Municipal Building Brick Pointing and Flashing Repairs totaling $7,200,000
--General Renovations to City Owned and Maintained Public Libraries totaling $5,000,000
--Symphony Hall totaling $2,230,000
--Court Square totaling $5,000,000
--Former York Street Jail totaling $1,000,000
--City Council Chamber Renovation totaling $500,000
--Spfld. Municipal Operations Center Shell Space Build Out and Renovations totaling $8,000,000
--South End Community Center Roof Replacement and Wall Repairs totaling $7,000,000
--Forest Park Improvements totaling $12,075,000
--Van Horn Lower Dam totaling $1,500,000
--Municipal Operations New Vehicle Storage Facility totaling $3,500,000
--Trails/Bikeways/Walkways totaling $4,000,000
--Campanile Restorations totaling $10,300,000
--Central Dispatch Facility totaling $6,000,000
--Police Headquarters Accessibility Renovations totaling $22,000,000
--Athletic Facility Improvement Project totaling $6,100,000
--Open Space Acquisition - Solutia totaling $5,500,000
--Amphitheater Parking Lot Forest Park totaling $300,000
--Asylum Building totaling $3,000,000
--Pynchon Plaza totaling $9,200,000
--Erosion Control Initiatives totaling $3,800,000
--Dam Improvements City-Wide totaling $6,800,000
--Senior Center totaling $6,500,000
--Lake Management totaling $10,500,000
--Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Garage Construction totaling $34,000,000
--South End Neighborhood Revitalization totaling $4,500,000
--Union Station Intermodal Transit Center totaling $65,000,000
--Pecousic Brook and Aquatic Gardens totaling $450,000


Shocked comments from taxpayers at the Masslive (Springfield Republican) website here The Mayor, Democrat Dominic Sarno, used an old pasta analogy to explain the absurdly expensive requests, noting: "We threw everything against the wall to see what sticks." Massachusetts, best known for corruption from the State Legislature to construction projects, has its own “Most Corrupt in Massachusetts” award here. You can bet the house that Boston’s list, when released, will make Springfield’s appear fiscally conservative.

The City of Tulsa, OK, in contrast, has a wish list totaling 944.6 million based on 34 projects. Included are: “$41.5 million for regional urban rail infrastructure, $8.9 million to expand the Martin Regional Library, $100 million to build 10 new Educare sites.” Comments from the Tulsa Word website are similar to those in Massachusetts.

At least Oklahomans used some restraint,Tulsa has a population of approx. 384,000, and is the 45th largest city in the nation . Compared to the "Billion Dollar" Springfield which has a population of approximately
154,000 and is the third largest city in Massachusetts
.

Barack Obama will be calling on American’s to sacrifice (Bloomberg), yet it remains to be seen if “government” (Local, State and Federal) will do the same. That said, someone has to pay the debt already incurred through the bailouts and should these “wish lists” succeed, for all economic stimulus projects – therefore, any proposed “middle class” tax cuts, may in the short run (2 years), become tax increases – on city, state and federal levels.

Note: One only needs to look to Massachusetts, already facing massive budget shortfalls, has Governor Duval Patrick considering a raise of the states gas tax (Federal gas tax hike also proposed) Additionally, Massachusetts currently has a state and local tax burden of 9.5%, property taxes are among the nations highest, yet the Bay State is currently considered a “donor” state (one which sends more tax dollars to Washington than it receives).

3 comments:

Chuck said...

The genie's out of the bottle. Everyone wants their share now

Jack Reylan said...

Bam-Bam Rubble complains about bank renovations when he spent so much on the hen auger hole. Just because he got Willma to rap resent him ain't gone and mean Fred won't move back in to Clitt stole he.

OSHAPro said...

Many people bidding for some of these government funded construction projects will be left out in the cold if they do not have their OSHA training. MA and several surrounding states (NY, CT, RI, NH, and MO) have laws requiring workers on publically-funded jobsites to take the OSHA 10 hour construction training class, like the ones available at www.osha10hourtraining.com . Without the OSHA card, they cannot get on the site. Many general contractors also have the same requirement for minimum OSHA training. So be prepared, do not wait until the last minute.

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