Wisconsin is less stimulated

Wisconsin is behind in receiving stimulus money. Of the $3.7 M announced for Wisconsin, $2.4 M has been available, and only $1M has been given out.

I spent some time looking at the Recovery.gov website and I am perplexed.

There is an interesting interactive map which will show you where the stimulus money has been sent in Wisconsin. One can choose to see the contracts received, the grants that were awarded, and the loans that were made.

In Barron County area (a little hard to be precise), for example, there were 0 contracts awarded, 4 grants to Housing Authorities, and 2 loans. The two loans were to DC Cylinder Head Services ($45,000) and to Ace Hardware ($279,000). However, there is no description for the intended use of the loan. Why is that?

The 4 grants were awarded as follows ($ approx.): Rice Lake HA ($186,000), Chetek HA ($42,000), Cumberland HA ($37,000), and Barron HA ($29,000) Again, I can find no description for intended use.

Does anyone check up on this? Is this free money?

The site touts itself as providing transparency and it does …to a point.

Hey, Sen. Feingold’s or Sen. Kohl’s staff, if you monitor this blog, can you tell us where the application forms are found, to whom are they submitted, and how we can learn what the contracts, grants, and loans are for? If we citizens are to monitor government spending at the local level we need a little more help.

I have mixed feelings about using the stimulus money. On the one hand, I am pleased to learn that our citizens are slow to go onto the Federal dole; on the other hand, I want to know what is wrong with us that we cannot find enough projects to stake out our fair share.

(Something is wrong with my thinking. Money is such a corrupting medium. It is hard not to take what is freely offered.)


Related Articles

10 thoughts on “Wisconsin is less stimulated

  1. I heard a funny commercial on the radio here in the Pacific NW for an auto dealership. The gist was this: “The government is giving away billions of dollars in stimulus money, and whether or not you agree with it, the cash for clunkers program can save you money! Come in now and get some of YOUR tax money back!” etc…

    So, apparently integrity is not important these days. In the red part of the state in which I live, people should reject the concept of US spending billions of dollars of stimulus money, but we should still accept the cash. Huh.

  2. Thanks for stopping in. “Integrity is not important these days” is oh, so very true…Perhaps this was their humor?

  3. I did a little digging. If your concern is with Wisconsin being slower to actually receive the money directed as part of the (abomination) stimulus bill, you’re missing the fact that all of that money that was such an emergency to get passed has been really slow to actually come out. (OK that was a horrific sentence, I admit it but am too tired to correct it).

    In terms of the percentage of announced money actually paid out, Wisconsin is actually the second highest:

    State______% of funds paid out
    Rhode Island_____25.96%

    Bottom 5
    State______% of funds paid out
    New Mexico______5.93%
    New Hampshire___6.74%
    North Dakota____7.16%

    1. Now I have to consider changing the title of this post to “Wisconsin is more stimulated than most”. ;0)

      Good wonking work, btw. You add value with your comments and it’s good to have you here.

      1. Sometimes I can’t help myself (usually when I’m procrastinating some other work) and when something’s piqued my interest, I can’t help but dig for data & enjoy trying to visualize it & see it with some context. Sometimes it ends up backing up my assumptions, sometimes not. I’ve got a collection of excel files with all kinds of stuff like this. The spreadsheet I did for this, I also threw in per capita stimulus funds (DC and Alaska are way out in front of the rest, Wisconsin is 6th worst). If you want, I can send you the file. The last wrinkle I want to add – is to add the congressional party affiliation. Given the current WH & congress, it would be interesting to see if states with more Democrats got more money or states with Republicans got less.

        I’ve been very happy to participate here. I like the back & forth and there seems to be a nice balance.

        1. Locke, we’re glad to have you here. While the blog itself has an obvious lean to it, I always welcome an honest debate from folks who may not agree with what us “lefties” believe.

  4. I should add that of the money already paid to Wisconsin, $367,878.00 (with about $60K to come) of it went to rebuild a bridge which sees about 10 vehicles travel over it a day.

    Being a curious guy, I had to look into it. It’s the River Road Bridge in the town of Arena and the road dead ends about 3/4 of a mile beyond the bridge.

    Looking at the GIS maps on the county property tax site, it looks to me like there are 21 privately owned lots that the bridge allows access to. Of these, 6 have no improvements – no buildings/structures. Of the remaining lots, the average assessed value of improvements is about $20,000. So we’re talking shacks/cabins here, likely nobody’s year round home. But there are three properties, totaling 88 of the 156 total acres that are owned by a developer. If anyone can find a link between Brian W Durtschi/Community Developers Inc in Mt. Horeb and a state politician who got the project funded, it would probably be a great scoop.

    1. That is excellent research, Locke.

      Thanks for pointing the way. I will check out the links a little later today.

  5. Locke,
    Impressive work!!

    Partially Blue, Mt. Horeb developer linked to the investment in the bridge to special interest neverland yet?


Comments are closed.