10 Worst Economic Stimulus Requests Made by Minnesota Cities


There’s a reason everyday Americans who practice personal responsibility are calling it Obama’s Porkulus Bill…here are some local reasons from local talkshow host Chris Baker:

10 Worst Economic Stimulus Requests Made by Minnesota Cities




Tennis court improvement and rehab – A backhand shot from a prosperous southwestern suburb that should be vigorously returned by taxpayers.1


 St. Paul

 $2.1 million

Western Avenue reconstruction “including bike facilities, traffic calming elements” and “public art” – An artful attempt to have patrons, a.k.a. taxpayers, underwrite the collaboration of St. Paul public works engineers and artists in creating fun sculptures, playful signs, “traffic calming elements” and bike facilities.2




Greenhouse gas tracking program – How exactly does a city-run greenhouse gas tracking program stimulate the economy?


 St. Cloud


Street sign upgrade program – The state has mandated that street sign lettering be 150 millimeters for capital letters and 113 millimeters for lower-case letters.3  A case of a city government asking the federal government for funds to comply with a state government mandate to replace signs that were already pointing the right way and doing the job.




LED streetlight conversion – How many years worth of city electric bills will it take to pay off the $750,000 cost of changing the bulbs in this city with an estimated population of about 2,500?


 St. Louis

 $3.5 million

New water meters for St. Louis Park residents – The city wants to open the federal tap to give 12,800 water customers new water meters and install remote meter monitoring equipment.



 $1.5 million

New clubhouse and maintenance shop for city golf course – Roseville’s city-run Cedarholm Golf Course, a 9-hole par 3 course, lost over $800,000 between 2000 and 2007 (years inclusive).4  Why should all taxpayers be asked to “chip in” even more money at this losing enterprise?




Nicollet Commons water feature rehab  Burnsville expects taxpayers to open the federal floodgates for a $550,000 upgrade for the water fountains and sculptures in its highly touted town square style park.



 $6 million 

Spirit Mountain snowmaking and maintenance facility – This multi-million dollar snow job attracted national media attention to Duluth.


 St. Cloud


Skateboarding Park – Ever since a local entrepreneur closed the doors of his skate park in 2006, enthusiasts in St. Cloud have tried to raise a quarter of a million dollars to start building a huge state-of-the-art skate park “plaza.” The city even agreed to carry donors’ debt for four years, but donations–to use skateboarding terminology–continue to “grind” along well short of their goal.  So the city has done a “kick turn” and asked taxpayers to foot the bill for the entire project.  Taxpayers need to become familiar with another skateboard term and “grab” their wallets.


4 Comments so far

  1. Robert Moffitt (justpbob) on January 28th, 2009 @ 10:02 am

    Actually, numbers 5 & 6 make sence to me. Streetlights and water meters are basic infrastructure items. I predict most cities will switch to LED lights as they grow/retrofit. The lights are not just for the residents of Hopkins, but those of us who drive through onece in a while. BNot only do they use a fraction of the power, they last a heck of a long time, reportedly.

    The new water meters will save the city time/money in years to come, as they can be monitored from the street, and not individually read.

    Create jobs today? No. But both requests will save the cities money for years to come, meaning another job or two might not be axed in lean days ahead.

  2. Donavon (brash) on January 29th, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

    The idea is that funding construction projects and setting up continuing programs creates jobs. Who’s going to build that skateboard park, staff that greenhouse gas tracking program, and upgrade those streetlights? People who need jobs, that’s who. And yes, although I’m sure it probably makes you throw up a little bit in your mouth just to think it, "artist" is a job, too.

    I’d likely agree that lot of these seem frivolous, but not only have you just cherry picked the most ridiculous sounding programs being spent here in the Twin Cities, but you selected proposed programs, which may or may not have even made it into the final bill passed in the house. Have you even bothered to check?

    Probably not.

  3. greg on January 29th, 2009 @ 12:48 pm

    I understand the it creates jobs argument. But I also understand that many of these jobs are not self-sustainable. You build a skatepark until it’s complete. Then that construction worker is out of a job, and since the government created the job out of thin air, now it has a responsibility to create them another job. It’s lining us up for a continual bailout.

  4. Library News » 10 Worst Economic Stimulus Requests Made by Minnesota Cities (pingback) on January 29th, 2009 @ 12:53 pm

    […] about them here. Posted under Uncategorized […]

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