Where is stimulus money? Alexandria gets $2 millionMoney from the federal stimulus effort made an impact in Douglas County. A reported $2 million-plus impact.
By: Al Edenloff, Alexandria Echo Press
Money from the federal stimulus effort made an impact in Douglas County.
A reported $2 million-plus impact.
The bulk of the money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was used for highway improvement projects. The rest is going toward repairs to low-income public housing units.
A new website, www.StimulusWatch.org, provides a way for taxpayers to see how the federal stimulus money is being spent locally. According to the site, StimulusWatch.org was built to help the Obama administration keep its pledge to hold public officials accountable for government spending.
Statewide, stimulus funds total more than $2.57 billion.
Alexandria was awarded four stimulus grants totaling $2,017,378. Here’s where the money went:
•A grant of $1,551,326 to the Minnesota Department of Transportation was used to install high-tension cable guardrail in the median of Interstate 94 from the Douglas /Todd County line to Sauk Centre.
The project was completed and provided four jobs, according to the website.
•A grant of $227,909 to MnDOT was used to install an improved traffic control system and reconfigure the ramps at the intersection of Highway 27, County Road 45 and Interstate 94 west of Alexandria.
The project, which has already been completed, created one job, according to the website.
•A grant of $182,900 was awarded to the Alexandria Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) for extensive improvements at Viking Towers and Wood Hill Townhomes.
The work at Viking Towers, a 105-unit apartment complex on Fillmore Street, included improving the parking lot and replacing kitchen faucets and shut-off valves.
Improvements at Wood Hill Townhomes, which consists of four six-unit apartment buildings on Victor Street, included re-shingling the roof, putting in new doors and repairing window seals.
The projects helped create four jobs, according to the website.
Jeff Hess, director of the Alexandria HRA, said the HRA was mandated to complete at least 60 percent of the work within a year, a faster timetable than the usual three-year deadline for using federal funds.
Hess said almost all of the work has already been completed and the small amount of funds that are left will be spent by March or April.
The money, Hess said, was needed. The projects were in the HRA’s five-year plan and getting them done earlier will allow the HRA to bump up other projects in its budget.
•A grant of $55,243 was awarded to the Douglas County Housing and Redevelopment Authority to replace windows and decks on its public housing units in Alexandria and surrounding communities.
The work was expected to create two jobs, according to the website.
As was the case with the Alexandria HRA, the Douglas County HRA had planned to make the improvements in a few years but getting the money now will allow it to get to other projects sooner, such as replacing roofs, according to the HRA.