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New Boynton Sidewalk Makes List of Top Wasteful Stimulus Projects

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ODOT officials selected Boynton for stimulus funds to improve sidewalks because it would make it possible to complete the overlay project along Highway 72. ODOT officials selected Boynton for stimulus funds to improve sidewalks because it would make it possible to complete the overlay project along Highway 72.

By Amy Lester, Oklahoma Impact Team

BOYNTON, Oklahoma -- An Oklahoma stimulus project lands on the list of the top 100 most wasteful stimulus projects in the country. U.S. Senators Tom Coburn and John McCain released the list Tuesday.  

"There is no question job creation should be a national priority, but torrential, misdirected government spending is not the way to do it," Senator Tom Coburn said.

See the list of questionable projects

The Oklahoma Impact Team first told you about the project in question, in April. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation spent nearly $90,000 to make sidewalks ADA compliant in the small Muskogee County town of Boynton. The new sidewalks and ramps went along the main road through town, state Highway 72.

"It's 100 percent a waste of money," said Ray Allen, Boynton resident. 

Residents and business owners in Boynton have been critical of the project all along, especially because the new sidewalks replace sidewalks that are in good condition and residents said are fairly new. Plus, some of the sidewalks lead to nowhere, but ODOT said the agency cannot make future improvements to Highway 72 unless the sidewalks are ADA compliant.

Senator Coburn's report quoted the Oklahoma Impact Team's original story about the project. Coburn also pointed out that the Boynton-Moton Public School is strapped for cash. The district is having trouble paying the $9,300 gas and electric bills.

Many in the town of 274 feel the sidewalk money would have been better spent fixing bridges or at least more heavily-traveled roads.

"They're absolutely throwing money away right now, if they're doing it in a town this size in Oklahoma, they're doing it everywhere," said Ray Allen, Boynton resident.

The Topix forum is an opportunity for website users to share their opinions. The comments do not reflect the opinions held by the Oklahoma Impact Team, The News On 6, or NEWS 9. We reserve the right to remove any posting or comment.
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