Idaho obligates all of its federal stimulus funds

Idaho is among the nation's leaders in completing projects funded by the federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA or stimulus) of 2009, according to a report from McClatchy Newspapers released this week.

The report indicated two jurisdictions – the District of Columbia and state of Massachusetts – completed all of their projects well before the Sept. 30 federal deadline. Idaho had completed about 97-98 percent of its projects, based on a chart accompanying a Sept. 27 news report by Chris Adams.

But ITD Roadway Design Engineer Nestor Fernandez reported Sept. 23 that all of Idaho’s $182 million (highway obligations and transfers) for 84 projects had been obligated. ITD has done an exceptional job getting projects out the door and on the ground where they are creating or sustaining jobs and improving the state’s economy.

“In California, where the 12.4 percent unemployment rate is the third-worst in the country, officials are rolling their highway money out far more gradually,” Adams indicted. “As a result, the Golden State is far behind other states in the percentage of projects it’s started.

“While some states have put their money to work quickly, others chose projects that have been slower to produce jobs, and so the nation is far from fulfilling President Barack Obama’s prediction that the highway stimulus dollars would create or save 150,000 jobs by the end of this year,” Adams reported.

A White House spokesperson said more than 14,000 projects nationwide are achieving the intended goal by putting Americans to work while making substantial, long-term infrastructure improvements. White House data indicate the projects have produced about 92,000 jobs.

Published 10-1-2010