County against stimulus, but still will take money

As dollars from President Obama’s stimulus package begin flowing across the country, debate goes on about whether the spending spree will have the desired effect and return this country to economic prosperity.

The Mesa County Commission says the money will not do as advertised. But that does not mean the commissioners won’t accept the bounty.

“I do not believe these dollars will fix our economy,” Commissioner Janet Rowland said.

No fix? Then shouldn’t the commission step in and fight against what they believe to be a waste of taxpayers’ dollars?

“I’m all for fighting against it, if they weren’t going to send us the bill,” Commissioner Craig Meis said.

The money that is the stimulus package eventually will have to be paid back, whether the county accepts any of it or not.

“I don’t think the federal government collects enough tax dollars to pay its annual deficit, let alone this handout,” Commissioner Steve Acquafresca said.

“It is just adding to this monumental debt that the country continues to accrue.”

It is a handout, Meis said, not a cure for the economy.

“You entitle people to do nothing,” Meis said. “I have never seen an instance where you can spend yourself into prosperity.”

Despite viewing the stimulus package as a doomed effort, the commission said it will accept and spend every stimulus dollar it gets from Washington.

“These trillions of dollars are our tax dollars. The taxpayers of Mesa County are footing the bill for this just like everyone else is,” Rowland said. “So you bet I am fighting for dollars for Mesa County. It would be ridiculous not to.”

The dollars have yet to reach the Grand Valley, which has applied for stimulus funds for road and bridge projects, a wastewater treatment plant, and public transportation.

Grand Valley Transit will receive $1.53 million for capital construction projects, said Tom Fisher, regional services director for Mesa County.


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