The New New Deal: Senior Centers and Salt Sheds

Here's a look at the brave new old world of make work taxpayer funded pork barrel projects.

The lobbying group for CT municipalities has amassed a wish list of over $2.8 billion in "shovel-ready" projects it claims would be worthy recipients of President-elect Obama's largesse.

Get your nostrils ready for a pungent smell test .

Darien--perhaps the state's richest town--- "needs" $17 million for a new police station.

Clinton--population 15,000---thinks it has a variety of ways to spend a mere $74 million; including dredging a pond. 

East Hartford thinks a new senior center ought to cost $30 million

New Fairfield--which has virtually no pedestrian traffic---needs to finish its "downtown' sidewalks

New Haven has a mere $506 million in wishes, including this cryptic $20 million item . "Prospect/Trumbull area for CSO in conjunction with GNHWPCA" Thankfully, its Mayor was not elected Governor in 2006 or the state would have already filed for Chapter  9 (the municipal version of Chapter 11).    

Newtown has $132 million in needs; although one wonders if the design and bid for the high school at $40 million is a bit duplicative of the $42 million for the high school addition. Double counting?

Portland needs $1.5 million for a public boat launch. Guess this beats floating a bond, eh?

Putnam must have $13 million for a community center with a swimming pool. 

Stamford---run by the other Democrat who wanted Jodi Rell's job in 2006--needs only $478 million. This list includes $4 million for an "absorbsion chiller"; $48,000 for foreign language classes for officers, and $164,000 to train K-9's. Who said our economy is going to the dogs?

Westport is looking for $7.2 million. including $200,000 for the Longshore Golf Club halfway house. Is this for golfers in rehab? Guess financial times there are tough since Martha moved away? 

Wethersfield has among its $4.175 million in urgent needs building a "gateway entrance" at the north end of town. Trust me, You don't need to spend a dime to know when you've left the City of Hartford.

Woodbury needs another $2.5 million for a salt shed. Guess global warming isn;t here yet.

Folks, we are going to be treated to the biggest pork fest in human history under President Obama. My suggestion is to watch in awe and try not to get in front of the trough.



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Update: Governor Rell was not amused

Evidently, she would appreciate getting a shopping list she can actually present to the President-elect. 


Governor M. Jodi Rell today wrote mayors, first selectmen and other municipal leaders across Connecticut to emphasize that the projects they recommend as “shovel-ready” must meet a fairly narrow set of criteria.

             In recent days the Governor’s office has received information on hundreds of local projects, including a list of more than 1,300 proposed by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), the vast majority of which do not meet the definition of “shovel-ready.”             “Everybody has a list of things they would love to see get done around their city or town, from major improvements to little fix-ups that just never seem to make it to the top of the priority list,” Governor Rell said. “I understand that – the state has a list like that, too – but that is not what we are talking about here.             “To be truly ‘shovel-ready,’ these projects have to meet some fairly strict definitions,” the Governor said. “They have to be fully designed; they have to be fully permitted – and that includes not only all of the state, local and federal permits needed but also any inspections, surveys or reports required from agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and they have to be ready to break ground within 180 days of getting the money.             “These are the criteria we understand will be included in the legislation,” Governor Rell said. “In fact, we are hearing that if the projects are not off and running within 180 days, the funding will be withdrawn. If that happens, we all lose.”             Governor Rell said that while she appreciates the flow of information from organizations such as CCM, it is not clear that any of the projects put forward so far meet these crucial tests.