Stimulus Dollars At Work: Helping Restore American Exceptionalism

by Ben Hoffman
  1. The Defense Department is using $100 million in Recovery Act funds to construct two complexes for the Warrior Transition program, which helps ill and injured soldiers recover and return to duty or to their communities. One of the two stimulus-funded projects is in Fort Bliss, Texas. The $41-million project includes design and construction of a barracks, an administrative building, and a “Soldier and Family Assistance Center.”
  2. The Recovery Act provided $2.4 billion for development of domestic industry to make lighter, more energy-dense lithium-ion batteries designed to power electric vehicles. A123 Systems, a battery-technology innovator that got its start at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, received $249 million in stimulus grants to build battery factories in Livonia, Romulus and Brownstown, Mich. According to the New York Times, the company’s investment in southeast Michigan will total over $600 million, and more than 800 workers are expected to be employed at the two newest plants.
  3. ECOtality in Phoenix, Arizona is helping bring the first public charging stations for electric cars to cities around the country. The company received a $114-million Recovery Act grant, which will help it deploy nearly 15,000 charging stations in 16 cities in six states (Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Tennessee and Texas) plus the District of Columbia. More than 8,000 qualifying drivers of the Nissan LEAF and the Chevrolet Volt will be provided with a residential charger for free. Xconomy.com has more.
  4. Iberdrola Renewables Inc. received a $170-million tax credit for its Streator Cayuga Ridge wind park in Livingston County, Illinois. The company’s 150 turbines will generate 300 megawatts of clean, renewable energy — enough to power over 86,000 typical American homes. It created 300 jobs during its construction.
  5. Wind farms are great – but what about when all those turbines are made in China? Some stimulus money is going to help states like Michigan establish a new energy economy. Energetx Composites, a Holland, Mich.-based composite manufacturer, received a $3.5-million “Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing” grant funded by the Recovery Act. The company is using the grant to diversify its product line, developing and manufacturing wind-energy components. To meet its growing needs, the company has teamed up with Grand Rapids Community College — which received over $8.5 million in stimulus grants — to develop a new technician-training curriculum.
  6. Equinox Chemicals of Albany, Georgia, designs, manufactures and distributes chemical products for fragrances, food flavoring and electronics equipment. The falling dollar has helped it boost exports. To meet new demand, the company needed a major plant expansion. It obtained a $3.2-million Small Business Administration loan for additional land, a new building, new equipment and other improvements. In addition, $27,000 in fees were waived because the 20-year loan was made under Recovery Act provisions.
  7. Supported by $24.8 million in Recovery Act tax credits for advanced energy manufacturing, General Electric is investing $600 million in its Louisville, Ky. Appliance Park facility to expand manufacturing. That includes bringing back from China the processing of pedestals used for front-loading washers and dryers — the first time GE has “in-sourced” a product. In a June visit to the plant, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden declared: “We’re laying a new foundation for a new economy with investments like the one we’re highlighting today.”
  8. The New York City Department of Transportation is using $175 million in Recovery Act flex funds to rehabilitate eight vehicular bridges, one pedestrian bridge and one parking field which provide commuter access to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal at the southern tip of Manhattan. The bridges support pedestrian traffic, bus routes and stations, dropoff and pickup taxi service and other passenger vehicle traffic. The rehabilitation of the St. George Ferry Ramps will restore and preserve the structural integrity of these bridges for another 25 years. The terminal hub provides a direct connection to and from Manhattan for 60,000 riders on a daily basis.
  9. The California Department of Transportation is using $197.5 million in stimulus funds to add two lanes to the Caldecott Tunnel, which connects the Contra Costa suburbs to the city of Oakland through the Oakland Hills. Workers began tunneling a fourth bore for the tunnel in early August. It’s expected to relieve a major commuter headache when completed. While digging, the contractors discovered fossils that may be millions of years old, including the remains of a camel.
  10. It’s one of the busiest north-south freeway corridors in Wisconsin, and traffic on certain sections is expected to increase by 38 percent in the next 25 years. Now, thanks to $94 million in Recovery Act funding, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is widening — from six to eight lanes — a 35-mile section of I-94 that runs from the Mitchell Interchange in Milwaukee to the Illinois state line. The additional lanes also will improve access to General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee and the Port of Milwaukee. Brandon Nesler, a Wisconsin worker rehired for a highway interchange project near Racine, tells his story here.
  11. The New Bedford Harbor Superfund site in Massachusetts encompasses 18,000 acres of urban estuary stretching from the upper Acushnet River into Buzzards Bay. Beginning in the 1800s, the site was polluted with industrial contaminants – primarily highly toxic polychlorinated byphenyls (PCBs), which were discharged from the 1940s until the U.S. banned their use in the 1970s. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that $25 to 35 million in Recovery Act funding would be used to accelerate the hazardous waste cleanup already underway at the site. The faster pace could more than triple the amount of PCB-contaminated sediment removed annually.

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3 Comments to “Stimulus Dollars At Work: Helping Restore American Exceptionalism”

  1. “I’m disappointed that we’ve only created or retained 55 jobs after receiving $111 million,” says Wendy Greuel, the city’s controller, while releasing an audit report.

    “With our local unemployment rate over 12% we need to do a better job cutting red tape and putting Angelenos back to work,” she added.

  2. But, once the payment is done then they vanish without a trace and the person who paid money has to bear the
    brunt. I receive howls of protest when I write this kind of thing.
    Two principles are involved here: 1) turning lead into gold
    was an outer demonstration of inner transformation, and 2) the seed oof the
    solution (the gold) wass hidden in the problem (the lead).

  3. Thanks for another wonderful article. Where else could anybody get that type of information in such a perfect way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such information.

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