GOT STIMULUS? DEPENDS ON YOUR ZIP CODE WITH WIDE GAP IN WHO BENEFITS AMONG COUNTIES

An average of more than $500 per man, woman and child in Minnesota stimulus spending so far

MINNEAPOLIS, MN—While Minnesota ranks eleventh highest per capita among states in stimulus funding received or in the pipeline as of mid-summer, a Freedom Foundation of Minnesota (FFM) survey of stimulus funding data sources shows the amount and potential local impact of that spending varies widely from a low of $21 per resident of Scott County to a high of $1,005 per resident of Big Stone County.

A breakdown of some $2.6 billion in stimulus related contracts, loans, grants and funds allocated for Minnesota shows an average expenditure of $514.81 in stimulus spending for each man, woman, and child statewide, according to data compiled by the oversight group ProPublica and public information on government stimulus websites. Roughly one third of the overall funding was funneled through counties ($894 million), while the other two-thirds went to the state ($1.792 million) as of July 20th.

Each of the top ten counties that received the greatest per capita share of stimulus funding is located in Greater Minnesota: Big Stone ($1,005), Chippewa ($913), Grant ($856), Wabasha ($842), Freeborn ($784), Traverse ($728), Marshall ($583), Nicollet ($552), Mille Lacs ($517), and Aitkin ($497).

Three of the bottom ten counties that received the least per capita share of stimulus funding are located in the metro area: Scott ($21), Anoka ($22), Houston ($24), Dakota ($28), Roseau ($30), Lac qui Parle ($33), Fillmore ($39), Martin ($43), Watonwan ($47), and Polk ($49).

Overall, Minnesota is designated to receive about $4.7 billion in stimulus funding, leaving some $2 billion to be allocated, according to the available data. The county rankings are based on government data listed by the oversight group.

Much of the first phase of spending went to road and transportation projects, water standards projects, subsidized housing, Title One grants to local schools, college Pell grants, and loans to small businesses unable to receive other financing.

The hundreds of stimulus projects slated for funding include: $364,000 for landscaping six “Welcome to Minnesota” highway entry points, $464,000 for a University of Minnesota study “to evaluate whether the density of alcohol establishments is related to alcohol-related crime”, $1.393 million for a northern Minnesota bike trail, $100,000 in grants to public radio, $16.784 million for canned pork from Lakeside Foods and $5.378 million for Jennie-O turkey breasts.

A recent FFM analysis concluded the number of jobs created by stimulus funding to date in Minnesota falls far short of projections released upon passage in February 2009. While the White House and key Minnesota delegation members said 66,000-91,000 jobs would be produced, state officials have documented about 2,900 transportation jobs, 6,000 summer youth jobs and 82 state Workforce Center jobs tied to stimulus funding.

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