The stimulus bill may not be popular in the NASCAR states, but to borrow a metaphor from the racing circuit, when it comes to states and establishments grabbing their fair share of it, it's green flag racin'. The state of Michigan — which should have no problem grabbing things since it's, y'know, a mitten — gets two NASCAR races a year in humble metropolis of Brooklyn (population: well, you, and that other guy), so they should know all about what it takes to get the inside track. The state needs money and plenty of it. Jobs are scarce and salted roads are scarcer, but when it comes to dreams and plans the state has plenty to go around for about 500 miles.
That's why Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm released a document on the government's website, listing all 16,583 potential projects that could get funded. Obviously, she warns, not every request will get approved — and currently none are slated to get money yet — since the total money weighs in at $59 billion.
Several requests are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and since many are construction projects, you know they'll go over budget. (I'm a realist and I watch HGTV.) But if they're looking for pet projects to fund, hey, why not go with the most frugal of requests?
The National Heritage Academies are a series of charter schools geared toward children up to eighth grade. The state of Michigan has a handful of them. What makes them appealing is, yes, the emphasis on education, but it seems to be that another enticing factor is the fact that they're ridonkulously cheap to build. Case in point, the NHA put in three requests to build new facilities in Lansing and the Detroit suburbs of Canton and Taylor. Total cost? Evidently, just twenty bucks:
So, itemized, that's seven dollars each for the Canton and Taylor campuses and just six bucks for the Lansing facility (they don't plan to install a gymnasium in that one). So, hell, if that's all they need, just cut them a check for the money and watch our children learn invaluable lessons like math and/or double-checking things before one sends them in or posts them to a government website.
So, Gov. Granholm, when you sit down and decide who will get some of that sweet, sweet stimulating scrilla, who will be the lucky recipient? Will it be MEDC, who wants $1.8 billion to build a lithium-ion battery cell factory? Or will Hazel Park, Michigan get that $300 bike rack they so desire? Will you allot $70 million to the city of Albion for that horse park they've always wanted, or $1,500 to Roscommon Middle School for bathroom partitions (Or 225 more NHA campuses they didn't even want)?
Just trying to help a state in crisis before their decision-making goes in circles. Hey, that's another NASCAR reference!