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Sat August 8, 2009
Report: States have not put emphasis on economic distressed areas
By Renny MacKay
Laramie, Wy – The General Accounting Office has put out a report showing that states have not done well at spending federal highway stimulus money in areas with economic distress, which was a requirement of the stimulus bill. Specifically the report says because of the emphasis on getting the money out quickly some states only later identified if stimulus projects fulfilled the economically distressed requirement.
A spokesman for the Wyoming Department of Transportation, Dave Kingham, explains that early in the planning phase WyDOT didn't know if there were areas that were economically distressed.
16-00 "Basically we wanted to spread the money around and make sure all the counties that had projects ready to go got some projects."
The federal government did notify Wyoming that according to their figures the state had three counties with economic distress. Kingham says they did not put extra emphasis on those counties.
Governor Freudenthal says he is satisfied with how WyDOT has handled the stimulus money. And says the agency's work has people employed this summer that otherwise would not have had jobs.