Small Town Rescinds Request for $375 Million of Stimulus Cash

A town of 194 withdrew its projects, many related to energy, after a report in U.S. News.

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The tiny town of Edwardsville, Ala., has withdrawn its $375 million of projects from consideration for funding in the stimulus following U.S. News's coverage of its request.

"The public perception of us being full of greed and the tremendously ugly comments have disheartened and disappointed us to the point that we are withdrawing our projects from the U.S. Conference of Mayors survey," E. D. Phillips, Edwardsville's representative to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said in a written statement Friday on behalf of the town.

The town, which has a population of 194, emphasized that its plans did not come about as a result of the stimulus, but began more than two years ago after hearing speeches from officials at the Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture on how renewable energy could promote economic development.

"We never knew there would be a stimulus to fund the projects we were developing," the town's statement said. "Like the rest of America, we only learned of the possibility of stimulus funding a few weeks ago." The projects were shovel ready by that point, the town said.

The projects ranged from energy-saving measures like solar-powered lights and underground water pipelines to provide heat to a renewable energy museum and a solar energy enhanced "scenic railroad line."

"We are greatly saddened by the response to our efforts to benefit not only our town, but also the surrounding region of our tricounty area," the statement added. "With disappointment, we withdraw."