Vice President Joe Biden has released a report, “100 Days 100 Projects,” touting the benefits of the stimulus package to jumpstart the economy.
It may not do much to calm the debate over whether it’s money well spent. Only a handful of Minnesota projects are listed, including Andersen Windows recalling half of the workers it laid off in January. An MPR story two weeks ago said all of the workers have gone back to the job.
Some of the projects: $27 million for Regency House, a public housing development in Washington. It was used to install solar panels, a “green” roof, a rainwater collection system, energy-efficient lighting and water-conserving toilets, showerheads and faucets.” $400,000 in backing for Jamiel’s Shoe World in Rhode Island. The Providence Journal Bulletin reported last month that at least part of the money is being used to pay for the cost of closing a store. But it’s a staple in Rhode Island, where unemployment is 11.3%. Munising, Michigan — on Lake Superior — is using almost $2 million for a street sweper, a snow plow and a police and fire station. The last census showed there are about 2,350 residents of Munising. In Davenport, Iowa, Zeglin’s Home TV & Appliance is replacing stoves in public housing units with “American-made Whirlpool appliances.” The blog, Real Time Investigations, highlights the New York State Veteran’s Home in Jamaica, NY, which is using $109.5 million for energy conservation. “How many years will it take for those savings to equal the cost of the $109.5 million spent to achieve those reductions?” it asks.
About the blogger
Bob Collins has been with Minnesota Public Radio since 1992, emigrating to Minnesota from Massachusetts. He was senior editor of news in the ’90s, ran MPR’s political unit, created the MPR News regional website, invented the popular Select A Candidate, started the two most popular blogs in the history of MPR and every day laments that his Minnesota Fantasy Legislature project never caught on.