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February 18, 2009 04:51 PM

Sen. Tim Johnson: Roundtable On Stimulus


Now that the stimulus is law, a lot of communities are talking about where the money should go to best help local economies. 


South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson met with Sioux Falls business and community leaders to try and answer their questions about how the stimulus could help them. 

From home sales to feeding the hungry, all of these people have a story of how the economy is affecting their organizations and the people they serve.
 
Bart Hacker with the Sioux Empire Realtors Association says homes sales are down by 12 percent over last year, but 2007 was a record year. He says starter homes are doing fine. 

"Where we are starting to see some difficulty is the second stage housing, which we would characterize as anything from $180,000 to $350,000," Bart Hacker with Sioux Empire Realtors Association said. 

Hacker thinks the stimulus will help turn that around.

Lynn Keller Forbes is with South Eastern Council of Governments. She works directly with the six counties in the southeast region to help build their infrastructures.  She told the Senator the demand for building projects is high right now. 

"Early on, we were asked to put a list together of all our needs as far as roads, water, sewers, pools, buildings and I think we ended up with over a billion dollars of identified needs in this region," Keller Forbes said. 

Senator Johnson told the group there are no earmarks in the stimulus for South Dakota, but it could create 10,000 new jobs in the state and some projects will be a higher priority than others. 

"In Sioux Falls, the two most important projects will be Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Engineers projects," Johnson said.

If you'd like to see a detailed list, look at how Johnson outlines spending.
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