City Council investigates stimulus spending

    The Philadelphia City Council is looking in to what’s been going on with the city’s $158 million dollars in federal stimulus money.

    The Philadelphia City Council is looking in to what’s been going on with the city’s $158 million dollars in federal stimulus money. Philadelphia’s website shows more than $8 million dollars have been distributed, but in reality the city has spent less than $1 million dollars since the federal stimulus program started seven months ago. Part of the reason for the mix-up may have been confusion about who to go to with reports and questions.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091028lfstim.mp3]

    City officials wanted to hire someone to handle the stimulus money, but they couldn’t find a suitable candidate.

    So, since September, City Budget Director Steve Agostini has been overseeing the city’s Recovery Office. He says the website numbers were wrong because people incorrectly declared that money that was awarded had already been spent.

    Agostini: It’s important that we do all of our reporting and all of our expenditures in a careful manner that we can follow and explain what we did. Because of that it’s important that someone who has some facility with the numbers, understands the budget and the financial implications does that, and I think that was why I was asked to take this on.

    Agostini says he hopes the numbers on the website will be corrected by next week.

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