Indiana projects feel impact of stimulus funds - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Indiana projects feel impact of stimulus funds

Updated:
The bridge work at US 31 on the south side and a new bridge in Broad Ripple add up to about $477 million in roads alone with 406 jobs. The bridge work at US 31 on the south side and a new bridge in Broad Ripple add up to about $477 million in roads alone with 406 jobs.
The Kinsey Institute got a two-year, $221,000 stimulus grant. The Kinsey Institute got a two-year, $221,000 stimulus grant.
At the National Cemetery in Marion, a Nevada conmpany was general contractor on a $250,000 road repair. At the National Cemetery in Marion, a Nevada conmpany was general contractor on a $250,000 road repair.
INDIANAPOLIS -

David MacAnally/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - From weatherization to transportation, taxpayers are giving Indiana almost $4 billion in stimulus cash.

The bridge work at US 31 on the south side and a new bridge in Broad Ripple add up to about $477 million in roads alone with 406 jobs.

Aid to schools is the biggest piece. About $626 million in federal stimulus funds kept over 13,000 school staff working when local school budgets crashed.

School aid and big road projects are the high visibility items. But there are smaller ones to consider, too.

Jennnifer Bass works at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University Bloomington. Kinsey got a two-year, $221,000 stimulus grant - just a small piece of a $16 million research pie at IU backed by the stimulus.

"What we want to do is figure out why, for some people, condom use is so difficult," said Bass.

The condom study in young adult heterosexual males aims to make it easier for that group to use condoms and protect their partners.

"The consequences to women of having sexually transmitted diseases are enormous. Infertility, cancer rates, other diseases," said Bass.

The two-year grant employs three Kinsey researchers and some students.

Indiana's smallest grant is down the road at Lake Monroe. The Army Corps of Engineers got a hand-me-down patrol boat from the Coast Guard, but needed $706 for safety gear.

While Indiana benefits from the grants, sometimes out of state contractors benefit too. A Pennsylvania company actually sold the boat safety gear.

At the National Cemetery in Marion, a Nevada conmpany was general contractor on a $250,000 road repair. It created three temporary local jobs.

Now some of the same local crews are on a city street stimulus project.

"More money," said Kelly Good with E and B Paving of Anderson. "It works out pretty good."

"August of last year through all fall we were paving Grant County roads and there was like 16 to 17 miles that kept us all working," added an E and B Paving supervisor.

"With this particular group out here working I saw about four employees. Oh yeah, Marion residents," said Marion Councilman Reggie Nevels.

They will feel the stimulus in Fountain Square come winter. Some houses there are getting weatherization help with the first $65 million in grants coming through the Indiana Housing Agency to local groups.

"We will need to bring on 2,000 contractors statewide just to meet the demand," said Paul Krievins with Indiana Housing Authority.

Many of those benifitting are elderly, handicapped and those who live in old homes where heating bills are hurting them. Krievins says the stimulus "caused a lot of contractors to begin to hire."

"With the stimulus money that's come I was able to hire another guy. I just hired a third guy today," said contractor Dorian Ursery.

Those jobs run though 2012. As for now, "I'm hoping to expand to put another truck out on the road," Ursery said.

One new hire, Charles Holland, said, "I've been up and down struggling here and there with bills. Now I got steady work coming in."

For homeowner Jenny Lawson: "Just hoping it will cut down on our [energy] bills. Amazing. I didn't realize we could get this kind of help."

Further research:

Government Website on Stimulus Money

Watchdog website on Stimulus Money

 

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