Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More than $8 million in stimulus funds for Acadia National Park

Senator Collins today announced that the National Park Service will invest more than $8 million in repairs and improvements at Acadia National Park. The funds are being distributed under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which Senator Collins helped craft with a bipartisan group of Senators earlier this year.

Specifically, the Department of the Interior says that it will invest $8.3 million at Acadia National Park to:

· Demolish abandoned buildings to restore landscapes

· Perform preservation treatment on roads, rehabilitate roads and parking areas at Schoodic Education and Research Center

· Repair 93 damaged culverts and headwalls on historic park roads

· Replace deteriorated safety and information signs

“Acadia National Park is a true gem of the Maine coastline and one of America’s most beautiful national parks,” said Senator Collins. “This funding will help create jobs in Hancock County while, at the same, time, preserving and protecting Acadia and creating lasting value for the American people.”

As Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Collins, along with Chairman Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), is holding a series of hearings to examine how the federal government will account for the billions of dollars expected to be spent over the next two years as a result of the economic stimulus package and help ensure that strong accountability measures are in place and that the spending is as transparent as possible.

The inquiry also focuses on ensuring that appropriate measures are taken to prevent cost overruns as agencies enter into contracts to spend ARRA funds, that strict oversight of contractor performance occurs, that grant conditions are met, a qualified acquisition workforce is in place, and that fraud is promptly prosecuted. The Committee is also looking at the challenges of presenting quick and accurate information about how the funds are being spent so that taxpayers may follow the process and determine if their money is being spent wisely and effectively.

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