Was stimulus money ... stimulating for Chenango?

NORWICH – A Chenango County Democrat last week localized the debate over whether or not President Obama’s stimulus efforts have actually boosted the nation’s economy.

Town of Smyrna Supervisor James Bays, one of six Democrats on the county board, requested a rundown of how American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds had been infused into the county’s budgets over the past two years.

“It didn’t have as much of an impact, I’m told, but that’s not my sense. Can we qualify or quantify what that meant to Chenango County?” he asked at the conclusion of the board’s meeting last Wednesday.

While Finance Committee Chairman Lawrence Wilcox, R-Oxford, responded that he was unable at short notice to provide a breakdown of expenditures, other supervisors estimated that about $1.6 million in ARRA funds went into the county’s 2009 and 2010 budgets – about $700,000 of which went directly to buffer the Department of Social Services’ budget, they said.

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