Area stimulus dollars tracked

Published 12:40 am Sunday, October 24, 2010

Special to the Daily News

Beaufort County was awarded $14,094,501 dollars in stimulus funds over the last fiscal year, according to reports filed on
The reports show that a number of private businesses and government agencies received grant money.
The majority of the awarded grant money went to Pell Grant programs at Beaufort County Community College.
The Washington Housing Authority received an $861,097 grant awarded on March 18, 2009.
Mark Recko, director of the organization, explained that grant was spread out over five nearby building projects in four public housing communities.
The completed projects include the upgrading of elevators at the East Haven housing community, tree removal at the Eastern Village and Oak Crest housing communities, and roof replacement at the Old Fort housing community building.
Two ongoing projects include the installation of new front and back exterior doors at the Eastern Village and Oak Crest apartment buildings, and the replacement of water and sewer lines at the Eastern Village and Oak Crest apartment buildings.
Recko noted that 60 percent of the grant money must be spent by March 17, 2011.
All of the grant money must be spent by March 17, 2012. Seventy percent of the grant money already has been spent.
The ongoing projects funded 11 jobs from building contractor companies over the last fiscal quarter.
Recko noted that the Housing Authority files quarterly reports with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development showing how the grant money is spent.
Recko said the grant money is close to double the Housing Authority’s operating budget.
“This is the first time I have seen a one-time thing like this. I have never seen anything like this come down the pike before,” said Recko.
Another recipient of stimulus money is the Washington Montessori Public Charter School.
Stephen M. Jones Jr. is the administrative head of the school.
Jones explained the details of an $81,184 grant awarded to the school over the last fiscal year.
“The money was used solely for staffing purposes,” he said. “It was from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Some of these went to salaries and some went to Social Security costs. The amount of grant money was revised later because we received some money from the Educational Jobs Fund.”
Jones noted that the school is audited regularly by the state. He also noted that the school has to use all the grant money awarded by the end of the year.
Washington Montessori School is its own independent local education agency. It is separate from Beaufort County’s public schools.