Last week Iowa Governor Chet Culver released a report on the status of the I-JOBS program. Saying it’s made much progress in just 12 months. Governor Culver touted the program in last night’s debate (which David summed up nicely) and for his part former Governor Terry Branstad said that I-JOBS really stood for Illinois jobs.
So far of the $875 million authorized $104, 166,890.31 has been spent and the Governor’s office reports (see below) that the program has created or retained 7502 direct jobs (jobs on the project site) out of 2091 projects that have been started. They said the jobs numbers is a 7.1% increase from June which they reported saw 7,079 jobs created or retained.
Right now, according to the numbers given by the Governor’s office the state has spent approximately $13,845 per job (out of I-JOBS funds). They have also have said that they have “leveraged” matching funds (from state, federal or private sources) of $961 million, so there is just over a billion invested in the creation or retention of 7,502 jobs. Breaking that down per job we see that $141,984 is being spent per job – this would also include materials, etc that would contribute to the creation/retention of indirect jobs – like the guys who haul gravel and those who make asphalt, etc. The report includes the breakdown of leveraged funds by county, but fails to list the source so in reality taxpayers are likely on the hook for more money from I-JOBS initiated projects. Some of these were planned projects or are typical maintenance, but some projects are not.
The two largest areas of money spent are flood recovery and road infrastructure. I decided to take a closer look at projects funded by I-JOBS through the Iowa Department of Transportation by running a search on their website (see spreadsheet below):
Looking at a few random projects listed above, we can see in the following towns were awarded:
- Granger – $5,649.16 – money given for road funding, completion time was supposed to be 12/09. To date nothing (at least recorded) has been spent.
- Pleasant Hill – $67,450 has been awarded, zero has been spent even though their project’s completed date was supposed to be 12/09. Also being a resident of Pleasant Hill I can attest that this season there was very little road work done, but I’m sure that $67,450 may not get you very much.
- Mitchellville – two projects – $1,117,941.96 – for road funding and to “revitalize Iowa’s sound economy” none of the money has been reported spent.
- Bondurant – $28,594.65 for road funding, and they have spent some money on rock, sand, a snow fence, and crack sealing. Not sure how many jobs that “created or retained” though.
- Carlisle – $33,882.29 for road funding
- Chester – $810.6 for road funding (I’m sure that went far), but was better than Clayton who was awarded $383.72. I’m sure they are thankful for the debt their residents now have for the $383.72 they have received.
- Dallas Center – $15,455.26
You can look for yourself on the website. One thing that I failed to see in the report or on the website is how they arrived at 7502 jobs created or retained. I don’t think it is unreasonable to ask, where are these jobs? Why are the number of jobs per project not being reported publically? We taxpayers have the right to know this information, and to that end I have made a Freedom of Information request to James Flansburg in the Governor’s office yesterday asking for a list of the projects and the jobs created and retained per project. Surely they have that information available since they just counted them up for the report.
Let’s get an answer to the question, where are the jobs from I-JOBS?