Letter to the editor: Berg doesn’t have the facts on stimulus programThe so-called “failed stimulus” is the reason the Jamestown Regional Medical Center exists today. Serving a nine-county area, this project is a lifeline for thousands of people.
By: Ruth Urdahl, Jamestown, The Jamestown Sun
The so-called “failed stimulus” is the reason the Jamestown Regional Medical Center exists today. Serving a nine-county area, this project is a lifeline for thousands of people.
On Monday Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., toured the hospital, taking swipes at President Barack Obama’s budget and sidestepping the fact that the Republican Ryan budget that he voted for would be a body blow for health care in North Dakota. The hospital — which he visits on the third anniversary of the stimulus program, was made possible by federal programs.
Here are the facts about what the stimulus money did for Jamestown’s hospital: The project cost $52 million. It was dead in the water until USDA Rural Development came through with $46 million. That financing package for the hospital included a $31 million loan from stimulus funding. Every cent of that stimulus money loan is to be paid back. Berg paints the stimulus as a giant giveaway, a black hole of debt. Nothing could be further from the truth.
What was the impact of this project for the economy of Jamestown, our area and the state? What happened to the money paid to 17 companies and their 400 employees who built this amazing, modern facility? Does Berg think that they hid the stimulus money under their mattresses, or did they spend some, supporting hundreds of other North Dakotans and stimulating the economy? You decide. Apparently the facts are lost on Berg.