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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Where does the Stimulus money go?

Here is an example of stimulus money spending (ARRA funds) that anyone who crosses the river between Matamoras, PA and Port Jervis, NY will see in action starting Monday March 29, 2010. The construction will continue for the next few months:

PennDOT Engineering District 4 recently announced the start of a bridge rehabilitation project in Pike County financed with federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

PennDOT awarded a $2,638,000 contract to Minichi, Inc. of Dupont, Luzerne County, for rehabilitation to the Route 6 Bridge over the Delaware River in Matamoras Borough, Pike County. Work includes repairs to the steel structure, beams and expansion joints as well as painting to prevent further deterioration.

The bridge will be closed in one direction and a new traffic pattern will be implemented on Monday, March 29. One lane of traffic will be maintained on the bridge to carry westbound traffic from New York into Pennsylvania. Traffic traveling from Pennsylvania into New York will be detoured on to Interstate 84 eastbound to Exit 1 across the Delaware River.

Within the six-county region of northeastern Pennsylvania, PennDOT will invest $72 million of federal economic recovery funds on 23 transportation projects, which include road and bridge improvements and curb ramp replacements.

To learn more about how the federal economic stimulus will benefit Pennsylvania, visit www.recovery.pa.gov.

If you want more information on where American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, also known as the stimulus funds, are being invested in Pike County there is a county specific website. There are similar construction projects supported by ARRA funds in Pike County. The school districts of Delaware Valley and Wallenpaupack received several million dollars that was funneled through the State of PA.

Here is how some of the rest money is being spent in Pike County:

How Pike County Benefits:

People Helped

Explanation of Benefits

Tax Relief 18,686 Taxpaying individuals and households – all but high earners qualify for taxpayer relief
Unemployment Compensation

500

Jobless adults will receive a boost in Unemployment Compensation
Health Insurance
for Unemployed
2,100 Unemployed persons qualify for more help purchasing health insurance
Health
Insurance

6,389

Low income children and adults will continue to have access to health care through Medical Assistance
Children's Health
Insurance

1,230

Children and teenagers will continue to receive their health care through Pennsylvania’s CHIP and Cover All Kids.
Food Assistance

3,934

Hungry children and adults will receive more help through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps)

Many times we hear complaints about how ARRA was not fiscally conservative. Spending money is not always wasteful, especially in a recession. I believe investing in the future while helping those hit hardest by the economic downturn was fiscally responsible. It is easier to understand what Senator Specter's YES vote for ARRA did for Pike County after you do just a little research and see the numbers.

Challenge: Decide what should not have been funded from the list on the Pike County page. What should not have been done at all? What should have been funded more locally?

1 comment:

  1. Update from The Pike County Press:
    http://pikecountypress.com/wordpress/2010/03/29/bridge-construction-delayed/

    "Monday, March 29, 2010 8:40 a.m.

    MATAMORAS- Changing traffic patterns on the Matamoras/Port Jervis Bridge over the Delaware River, originally scheduled to take effect today, have been postponed due to inclement weather.

    According to a press release from PennDOT, the switch could take place tomorrow, Tuesday, though a broadcast to emergency personnel in Port Jervis indicated that the change would take place Wednesday."

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