Council Snubs KAMO.
The Carthage City
Council unanimously approved a decision
to ignore a request by KAMO Power to
demolish a portion of the skate park
located in the Fair Acres Sports Complex.
City Attorney Nate Dally told the Council
that representatives of the power
generation and transmission company
notified him of their determination to
force the issue because the skate park
infringes on the companys power
line right of way.
City Administrator Tom
Short says he was not aware of KAMO being
contacted before construcion was
The right of way, which
is fifty feet on either side of the
center line of the power lines, was not
officially documented until KAMO notified
the City after the slab and fence for the
park were constructed.
Park Administrator Alan
Bull has said it took hours pouring over
old maps before documentation of the
right of way was found by Dally after
The utility line is
part of KAMOs 1160 miles of
distribution lines and thought to have
been in place since the 1950s.
General Blasts Stimulus for Tiny Airports
by Michael Grabell, ProPublica
Millions of dollars in federal
stimulus money are going to low-priority airports
with questionable economic value and a history of
mishandling grants, according to an advisory
released Monday by the inspector general  for
the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The report follows an
investigation by ProPublica and CBS News  last
month that found more than $100 million was being
directed to airports that have fewer than one
flight an hour including one serving an
Alaskan village of 167 people.
In the four-page memo, the
inspector general said the Federal Aviation
Administration selected low-priority projects for
stimulus money to ensure that every state got at
least one airport project. The office advised the
FAA to withhold grant money for the projects
until it can justify the economic merit. And it
called for a full audit of stimulus airport
In a response , Deputy
Transportation Secretary John Porcari said the
FAA relied on long-standing rules to pick
"prudent, high-priority projects" and
noted that the report highlighted a small
percentage of the 263 stimulus projects.
The agency didnt need to
conduct a cost-benefit analysis, he said, because
most of the projects were necessary to bring the
airports into compliance with safety standards.
To select airports for stimulus
funding, the FAA relied on its National Priority
Rating system, which scores projects on a scale
of 0 to 100, based on safety, security and
capacity needs. Typically, airports must score a
40 or higher to be approved. In the stimulus, the
FAA raised the threshold to 62 to be certain
worthy projects would be funded.
Yet, the FAA chose more than 50
projects below that mark, "raising concerns
about whether the agencys process resulted
in funding the highest priority [stimulus]
projects," the IGs report concluded.
Among the projects mentioned
are two new airports in the remote Alaskan
villages of Akiachak and Ouzinkie. Ouzinkie,
which is home to 167 people, received $13.9
million. But the report notes that it already has
a gravel airstrip, a landing area for sea planes
and access to cargo barges.
In its response, the FAA said
the Alaskan airports dont meet safety
standards and that alternative means of travel
are much less reliable than the IGs report
makes it seem. In Ouzinkie, the main means of
travel other than plane is an open skiff ride to
Kodiak Island. But according to the FAA, from
Thanksgiving through March, that option is
available only 10 percent of the time.
"These are hardly examples
of government waste both projects are
simple gravel airstrips," Porcari wrote.
"The costs of these projects have been
checked and justified based on the high costs of
moving materials and equipment to the
The other low-priority projects
cited by the inspector general were a $5 million
taxiway in Findlay, Ohio; a $2 million runway
extension in Wilbur, Wash.; a $2 million apron in
Warrensburg, Mo.; and a new runway at an airpark
in Dover, Del.
"The Dover project was
chosen because it was the states only
project that was ready to go, "
the report said.
The inspector general also
found four grant recipients that have a history
of problems managing grants. Those airport
authorities in Guam, Puerto Rico, Pitkin County,
Colo., and Owensboro, Ky., together received $15
million despite problems handling cash and
The Owensboro, Daviess County
Regional Airport has been cited for poor
administration of funds in 10 of the past 11
years, the IGs report says.
In its response, the DOT said
it has increased its oversight and that all
problems with prior grants had been resolved to
the inspector generals satisfaction.
"The department has emphasized the need for
careful stewardship of all funds expended, and
particularly Recovery Act funding," Porcari
The response didnt cool
criticism from Republicans, who used the report
to attack the stimulus. "The IGs
investigation is more evidence that serious
problems surround the stimulus program,"
said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., the ranking member
on the House transportation committee.