Federal Stimulus Money to Benefit Arizona…Sort of

A recent article in the Phoenix Business Journal got under my skin. The article was simply a report on facts, but I found the facts to be pretty appalling. The article initially began on a positive note. Approximately $1.5 million in federal stimulus money was awarded to Arizona projects. The projects range from a large order of chicken eggs, to park improvements projects, to a major solar panel installation at a military base. Five companies, spanning the state, were awarded contracts, totaling approximately $1.2 million of this money. It is fantastic that Arizona-based companies won these bids, because now the state will benefit in many ways from the revenue stream.

The disheartening news is that three out-of-state companies were awarded the remainder of the $1.5 million, including a New York-based construction company enlisted for a solar panel installation project in Yuma. I’m not sure who is in charge of determining which companies will ultimately do the work, but wouldn’t it have been a bigger boon for our state if all of the contracts were given to local companies? I’m sure there are many competent companies throughout the United States that can do the same job. However, if that chunk of federal stimulus money is to fully benefit Arizona, I feel Arizona companies should have been chosen over comparable companies elsewhere. Obviously the topic of solar installations is closer to my realm of knowledge than construction dumpers, but I’m sure there are local companies that could have handled the solar panel installation job. It would be nasty of me not to congratulate the company that won the bid, since every state can use the help right now. But, my loyalty to my own backyard and the hard working people in it, keeps me from being very happy about the choice.

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