Things that put me over the edge…


From the Syracuse Post Standard…

Across America, every road project paid for with federal stimulus money will have one detail in common: a big green sign that advertises your tax dollars at work.

But each state will tell a different story about how the signs were made and how much they cost.

In New York, the state published engineering instructions that estimated the biggest, 84-square-foot signs could cost between $6,000 and $8,300 each to make and install.

So far, one bidder put the sign cost at $8,930. Another estimated $5,400.

Illinois is using the smaller version of the sign — 45.5 square feet — and expects each one to cost about $500.

Michigan made 40 of its own signs, at a cost of about $300 each, to move around to small and urban projects. The state expects to pay contractors about $500 per sign for bigger projects.

The tale of the big green economic stimulus sign shows how difficult it is for states to manage the fine print of the federal stimulus program, spend the money quickly and under the watchful eye of the public. New York state is writing the rules as it goes and it is open to suggestion.

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