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Friday, September 27, 2013

Federal Stimulus Funds Go to "Free" Trees in Posh Denver Neighborhoods

"Trees for the wealthy! What about this wouldn't create jobs for thousands?"

It was shovel ready, right?

From Fox News:

About $600,000 in federal stimulus funds were used to plant trees in some of Denver's priciest neighborhoods at no cost to homeowners, according to a KCNC-TV report.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program had no income guidelines, so trees were planted in upscale areas of the city at about $150 apiece, the station reported.
City forester Rob Davis said the now-defunct program was developed to help boost the economy by creating tree-planting jobs and to provide homeowners with long-term savings in energy costs.  
“It’s open to anybody,” Davis told the station. “It’s basically if you live in Denver, you want to reduce your energy costs, you want to have a tree that can raise your property value, go to the web page to sign up.” 
John Backlund, who lives in a home worth more than $700,000, told the station he agreed to take a tree after he was approached by a government worker going door-to-door trying to give them away. 
“Too good of a deal to say no to. I was happy to get the free tree,” Backlund said.
While some trees were planted in middle- and lower-income neighborhoods, the federal government rejected a proposal by the city to keep the trees out of neighborhoods with high-end homes. 
“The program was turned down by the government as their interest was in funding programs that created jobs and helped citizens reduce overall energy costs,” city Parks and Recreation spokesman Jeff Green told KCNC-TV.com. 
Green said the department recognizes that many trees ended up in high-income neighborhoods and plans to attempt to remedy the imbalance.
Yup, more money shall be needed to remedy the income / tree imbalances.

I just don't understand why the stimulus failed so miserably. I mean how many hundeds of jobs were created by these trees?

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