The only thing stimulated by this "stimulus" project in Sevier County was Governor Phil Bredesen's ego.
All we ask from our politicians is that they do no harm. They can't even deliver on that promise.
The project, which is funded solely by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, is the largest stimulus project of its kind in Tennessee and was intended to increase employment, according to an online letter from Gov. Phil Bredesen. Sevier County-based construction company Blalock and Sons was awarded the $38,698,150 contract to widen Highway 66.
However, only one on-site construction worker has been hired since September, confirmed Tennessee Department of Transportation Project Manager Jennifer Stone, while local retailers have had to cut back staffing and decrease work hours because of disruption from road construction.
"We try not to really lay anyone off, but we have certainly had to reduce people's hours, and some of those people have gone elsewhere for work," Ware said. "As natural attrition occurs, we haven't hired anyone to replace them."