Note that this turning lane is on the portion of 34 east of town that already is a divided four lane. But I guess folks are in such a rush to get out of town that we just can't expect them to slow down a touch near the JRE entrance or take a moment to swing over into the left lane. Once again, Madison's Republicans choose big government spending over personal responsibility.
But not Commissioner Abraham:
Commissioner Nick Abraham pointed out that the new turn lane is located outside the Madison city limits, and the city has no direct responsibility toward paying for the project. Abraham added that the city won't have the $125,000 used for the turn lane project available for street construction projects within Madison. He said the reduced availability of stimulus funding could delay city street improvements [Chuck Clement, "City to Fund SD-34 Turn Lane," Madison Daily Leader, 2009.07.28].
What? Did someone say stimulus money?
The commissioners asked Chad Comes, city engineer, if the money needed for building the new turn lane could come from federal stimulus funding that Madison received earlier this year. The stipulations for receiving the federal economic stimulus money included directives to use the funding for construction projects that were active and "shovel-ready," not just under consideration.
Comes told the commissioner that transportation officials will probably perform the necessary financial transfers that would direct the $125,000 needed for the turn lane construction from Madison's stimulus funds [emphasis mine; Clement, 2009.07.28].
Necessary financial transfers—a.k.a., bookeeping tricks that would essentially allow us to cheat the stimulus rules. Clever.
James River Equipment's move a mile up the road for more visibility is costing us a lot of tax dollars.
*Correction! Elisa Sand sends me looking for a map, where I find JRE does appear to lie within the city limits. Looks like that turning lane could pay itself off... if James River can sell 6.25 million dollars worth of additional John Deere tractors and lawn mowers!
- JRE wins exception to state rules on highway access.
- LAIC handouts are covering 60% of the cost of water, sewer, and electricity infrastructure in the industrial park. Too bad all new businesses and homes can't get a break like that on the hook-up fees they pay the city.