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Hmmm. I wonder how many times this sort of thing happened with stimulus money? And how many millions (billions?) were wasted?
When he applied for federal stimulus money to build a new fire station, the city’s chief described the existing building as one that posed health problems and was at risk of “collapse.” Steve Olshwanger wrote in his 35-page application that the station was dangerously unstable, with damage to support columns, and rife with black, toxic mold.
He also said the station’s roof was deteriorating and the supports underlying it were damaged.
Olshwanger submitted the application last summer to replace Station No. 1, at 6801 Delmar Boulevard. FEMA accepted Olshwanger’s pitch and in October gave the city $2.6 million in stimulus money for the new station. But a tour last week of the 107-year-old station by the Post-Dispatch showed that while it may be a dreary place for firefighters to bunk, no structural problems were visible. And an examination of city documents showed that some of the problems cited by Olshwanger have already been fixed.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”