Friday, December 19, 2008

Mayors' infrastructure request laden with pork?

From CNN: Mayors' infrastructure request full of pork, critic says

A report to Congress that requests $73.2 billion to pay for infrastructure projects around the country includes plans for a polar bear exhibit, an anti-prostitution program, a water park ride, zoos, museums and aquatic centers, CNN has found.

Raise your hand if you are shocked.

Among the many requests is one for a $4.8 million polar bear exhibit at the Providence, Rhode Island, zoo. The zoo's director said it's needed to boost attendance.

How much does a polar bear cost anyway or is it the snow machine driving up the cost?

CNN also found in the U.S. Conference of Mayors' report a proposed $20 million minor league baseball museum in Durham, North Carolina; $6.1 million for corporate jet hangars at the Fayetteville, Arkansas, airport; $20 million for renovations at the Philadelphia Zoo; and a $1.5 million program to reduce prostitution in Dayton, Ohio. Officials in those cities told CNN the projects were needed.

"People make judgments about the safety of a community by the level of social disorder. Street-level prostitution is clearly a social disorder," said Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl, defending his city's proposal to hire social workers and provide residential treatment programs for prostitutes.

Those projects -- plus money for aquatic centers, museums, bike paths, zoos, skateboard parks, dog and equestrian parks, police department stun guns, tree planting and murals -- total $376.5 million.

Police dept stun guns and anti-prostitution programs?

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