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July 27th, 2009
06:47 AM ET

St. Cloud Mayor Stormy over stimulus

Four months ago, Vice President Joe Biden took a stimulus road trip to St. Cloud, Minnesota to tout the prospects of recovery program jobs. Now the Mayor of St. Cloud, Dave Kleis, is one of the nation's most outspoken stimulus critics.

At the event, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said cities like St. Cloud should expect to see stimulus jobs as early as last spring.

Kleis says he's still waiting for those jobs as he hasn't heard back from the Obama administration to approve nearly a dozen stimulus requests for his town.

But we did a little digging and found some stimulus jobs are coming to St. Cloud. The local sign-making company, Geyer Signal, has hired 25 workers. They make the Recovery Act highway signs that are popping up on interstates around the country.

And the St. Cloud Airport has received funding for a new jet bridge, even though the facility sees only three commercial flights a day.

St. Cloud has weathered the recession well. Thanks to state road construction projects, already underway downtown, the city has an unemployment rate of 7.7 percent. That's far below the national average.

Not good enough for Mayor Kleis who says his city hasn't gotten its fair share of the stimulus.

Filed under: Economy
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Todd

    One question Jim you didn't ask – how many of these jobs are temp vs permanent? Most of these jobs are seasonal. I would venture to guess that of the 25 jobs quoted in the story 15 jobs are what geyer hires every year to help with the road construction in Minnesota. And come November, those jobs will be gone. I understand we want to have as many feel good stories on the stimulus funding past in Feb., but, to imply that a 25 jobs in a area with a total population in excess of 100K, is impactful is misleading.

    July 27, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  2. todd

    One other point the sign company hires temp workers every year (15 or so ) for summer projects. The question that I don't see you asking is how many are Permanent

    July 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  3. Chris

    I would like to make a correction.
    The stimulus signs that are made at Geyer Signal, are only for local projects within the boundries of the state of Minnesota. The signs we make are only for projects that we have been contracted to do the traffic control on.
    However, the sign design is the same throughout the country and I would assume that other like companies would provide stimulus signs for their projects that are part of the stimulus funding.

    July 27, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  4. Lisa

    Read the story Don. It isn't based out of Florida and I don't agree it is racist.

    July 27, 2009 at 9:04 am |
  5. Don

    This is not a surprise St. Cloud is well known for being one of the most Racist towns in Florida. Also known as a closed community to outsiders lends itself to a far right wing republican ideology. Thus leading to the fact that know matter how much Stimulus money they received it would not be enough.

    July 27, 2009 at 6:58 am |