Follow the Stimulus, Part 3

By Caitlin Taylor

Jun 8, 2009 12:26pm

ABC News’ Lisa Chinn, Olivia Hallihan and Jake Tapper report:

Whether by debunking a completely erroneous claim by the White House that the DC housing authority was using $27 million from the stimulus bill to install a 'green' roof, energy-efficient lighting, water conserving toilets, showerheads, and faucets at a DC housing project, or by questioning a somewhat debatable claim about the purchase of stoves in Davenport, Iowa, (they were going to be bought anyway),  our team has tried to stay on top of the claims the White House is making about the $787 billion stimulus bill.

And we have found another questionable claim in the White House’s “100 Days, 100 Projects” report.

Stimulus plan No. 7 reads as follows:

“#7: The New York States Veteran’s Home at St. Alban’s  in Jamaica, NY is using $109.5 million in Recovery Act spending to install more efficient motors, variable speed drive units, lighting, ballasts, lighting sensors, daylight sensors, and to replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. “

$109 million sounded to us like quite a bit of cash for those repairs at one VA, so ABC checked into the validity of the claim.

In actuality, St. Albans is slated to receive $3 million, according to Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-NY, who told ABC News, “That is not accurate.  The $109 million dollars mentioned in the White House report was given to the state for all VA facilities.”

Neville Goldson, an administrator at the St. Albans facility, told ABC News that he could not make any statements about receiving stimulus funding and declined to say when the project might begin.   The New York Department of Health, which is overseeing the distribution of the funds, also declined to answer our questions.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs acknowledged the mistake in the report.

–Lisa Chinn, Olivia Hallihan and Jake Tapper

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