Thursday, April 23, 2009

Warren County to Obama: Keep your ‘filthy money’

LEBANON Warren County is saying “no thank you” to federal stimulus funds.

The county is the only one in the state that has rejected stimulus money for transportation improvements, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Commissioners rejected $373,000 in stimulus money to buy three new transit buses and upgrade their fleet, citing their opposition of deficit spending for buses and vans.

“I’ll let Warren County go broke before taking any of Obama’s filthy money,” Commissioner Mike Kilburn said.

ODOT spokesman Scott Varner said the money was specifically for transit improvements in rural areas to improve transportation for disabled people, seniors and others needing access to health care and educational opportunities.

"I'm tired of paying for people who don't have," Kilburn said. "As Reagan said, 'Government is not the answer, it's the problem.'"

County Administrator Dave Gully said the Ohio Department of Transportation sent the county a letter saying it was eligible for the money, but the commissioners decided not to apply for the funds.

"It was an act of omission, rather than rejection," Gully said.

"About $180 million was allocated for this," Varner said.

"We had hoped to share those dollars with all counties, but Warren County has decided against it."

Commissioner David Young said the commissioners also are looking for a way to give back $1.8 million in stimulus money allocated for energy efficient windows and roofs on government buildings.

"We are working with the prosecutor's office to find a way for us to give back the money and make sure that no one else spends it," Young said.

"We want to make clear that we are saying 'no, thank you' to spending this money and we are reducing the $787 billion being spent by $1.8 million."..............

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