August 3, 2010 | last updated May 29, 2012 9:18 pm

Critics: Stimulus for CT tribe, artists, schools

Two U.S. senators are slamming four federal stimulus funded initiatives in Connecticut as part of their national attack on President Barack Obama's $862 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Republican Sens. John McCain from Arizona and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma released a list Tuesday of what they say are the 100 worst projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in an effort to show the stimulus did little to meet its stated goals of creating or retaining jobs and keeping the economy from floundering.

No. 14 on the GOP list is Connecticut's Mohegan Tribe, which got $54 million in rural development loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to build a four-story tribal government center, including a community center.

The senators' main issue with the loans was that the center will also will serve as a practice facility for the WNBA Connecticut Sun basketball team. The team is owned by the Mohegan Sun casino, which in turn is owned by the Mohegan Tribe.

No. 52 on the list is the Shelton School District, which received $175,800 from the U.S. Department of Energy for a new cooling system as part of renovations for the Perry Hill School. The senators' claim the renovations are $1.5 million over budget, forcing the town to pay for some of the renovations out its general fund amid a layoff of 27 teachers.

No. 82 is the New Haven Board of Education, which received $381,313 for its Head Start program while meeting only half the six federal performance standards. The senators cited a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General saying that the problems with the Head Start program were due to inadequate procedures and accounting systems.

No. 98 is the Weir Farm National Historic Site in Wilton, which received $184,650 to turn an old garage into a studio for the farm's Artist-in-Residence program. The senators' main issue is the facility can deny visitors access even though it received public funding.


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