THE WHITE HOUSE
For Immediate Release October 8, 2009
on Recovery Act Year-End Progress
to Create Jobs and Drive Economic Growth
- $251 billion – or 50.3 percent - of the $499 billion in Recovery Act spending has been obligated.
- $196 billion has now been outlaid or provided as tax relief – exceeding CBO’s initial estimate at passage by $11 billion.
- Three projects to renovate swimming pools
- Nine projects to renovate, repair, or upgrade various athletic facilities such as basketball or tennis courts
- A project to repair and/or straighten headstones at a cemetery
- A project to steam clean bird droppings from a building
- A project to repair the roof of a fast food franchise on a military base
- A project to renovate a historic district on a military base
- A project to install a guardrail at Lake Optima in Oklahoma was modified to instead demolish abandoned campground facilities.
- A project to print pamphlets for a Lake Onondaga restoration project was modified from printing paper pamphlets to publishing the information online.
- A project in the Everglades was deferred due to being a "new start." (New starts are prohibited by the Act.)
- A state DOT planned to use funds to resurface a road. Subsequent to that project, an EPA remediation project was planned that would have multiple heavy trucks hauling waste across the newly laid road – most likely severely damaging the road in the process. The DOT project has been rescheduled and will be reinstituted after the EPA project is complete.
- A state DOT planned to spend $57 million on road planning studies, rather than shovel-ready projects. After discussions with DOT, the state is now using the funding for road construction projects.
- A state DOT planned to spend transportation funds on a memorial project, a use that is ineligible for transportation enhancement funds.
- A state DOT planned to spend funds to develop an inventory of American with Disability Act (ADA) needs in the state. Developing such an inventory for planning and prioritization purposes is not an eligible transportation enhancement activity.
- A state DOT planned to use funds to establish a landscaping and scenic beautification program for highways located throughout the state, an activity deemed ineligible for transportation enhancement funds.
- A state DOT planned to use funds to upgrade a marina breakwater at a state park, an activity not eligible for transportation enhancement funds.
- A state DOT planned to use funds for several preliminary engineering projects for major highway improvements, without an identified funding source to complete the projects after the engineering work was complete.
- A county Transportation Authority distributed "baseline" funding to cities in the county. Some cities did not have eligible Recovery Act projects ready-to-go, and sought to trade their transportation funds, at a discount, to other cities, in return for general fund money. These trades were halted.
- A public transportation agency planned to use funds to purchase right-of-ways with no discernible immediate job creation impact, but after discussions with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), used the funds for alternate projects.
- A plan to use funds to purchase a supplemental freezer, one use of which would have been to freeze fish sperm, at the Gavin’s Point National Fish Hatchery was halted.
- A plan to use funds to purchase five aircraft used to conduct migratory bird surveys was halted.
- Three cities plans to use Title XVI water reclamation funds for projects that would have provided water delivery to prohibited facilities (such as golf courses, casinos, etc.) were halted.
- An internal DOI plan to establish renewable energy coordination offices, including significant funding for employee relocation, which would handle the permitting of private-sector renewable energy projects on public lands was deemed ineligible for ARRA funding.
- DOI worked with six cities to modify water projects so that funds were not being used to deliver water to golf courses, reducing project cost and freeing up funds for other projects.
- A proposal to repair and rehabilitate the East Wing of the White House was halted.
- A sheriff’s office proposal to use the Recovery JAG funds to implement the "Employee Retention Program" to connect professional achievement with incentives, motivating employees to a higher potential and inspiring longevity and commitment to the department was determined to neither meet the definition of economic stimulus nor provide long-term benefits to the community.
- After discussions with DOJ, a police department decided not to use ARRA funds to purchase police lockers.
- A county proposed to spend funds for one armored vehicle, but after discussions with DOJ, opted to use funds elsewhere.
- A proposal to use funds to purchase two police cruisers for two school resource officers to drive to and from the schools to teach gang resistance programs was halted. The notion was to use the cruisers to transport materials and supplies used in the classroom instruction.
- A proposal to use Rural Development Community Facilities funds for uniform service revolvers and Tazer safety guns for Sheriff Deputies was halted.
- A proposal to use Rural Development Community Facilities funds for preschool outdoor playground equipment was halted.
- Six proposals across the country to use Floodplain Easements funds were denied as the applications were for sites that are in permanent vegetation such as grass and trees, with little evidence of flood damage and would require very limited restoration and thus, limited job creation, and did not meet program guidelines.
- A proposal to use a Rural Development Business and Industry loan for a ski resort.
- A proposal to use a Rural Development Business and Industry loan for a luxury spa and inn.
- A proposal to use a Rural Development Business and Industry loan to refinance a Rite Aid.
- A proposal to use a Rural Development Business and Industry loan for a gas station.
- A requester proposed using funds to rent the Georgia Superdome for an event on homelessness.
- 48 cities submitted proposals to renovate, rehabilitate, or upgrade parks
- 52 cities submitted proposals to renovate, rehabilitate, or upgrade recreation centers, playgrounds, athletic fields, or other similar facilities
- 12 cities submitted proposals for funding to support youth–centered recreational activities
- Four cities submitted proposals for funding to build or upgrade skate parks