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Contractors say stimulus dollars not helping as much as they’d hoped

Contractors in Minnesota and around the country say the federal stimulus spending isn’t having the cure-all effect they’d hoped.

Finance and Commerce notes that an Associated General Contractors survey indicates construction jobs aren’t being created as widely as hoped.

Quoted is Brad Wood, executive vice president of Roseville’s McGough construction firm, which is working on the Shubert Theater project  project, which has received stimulus money.

“We are disappointed – like a lot of contractors – that more money is not going to vertical construction. It has been our experience that it has helped, if anything, infrastructure, roads and such, and we are not in that segment,” Wood said.

But some local firms, particularly in the transportation arena, are doing OK, Finance and Commerce says:

Shafer Contracting, a Shafer-based road construction firm, is working on two jobs that have stimulus funding: a $4 million project in Onemia and a $16 million project in St. Peter.

“We have done some hiring, but more important, because of those jobs and other jobs, we were able to get people we had working last year, call them back and get them off unemployment,” Brad Mattson, the company’s vice president, said in a phone interview.
“In the case of the project in St. Peter, it has been in the planning stages for a number of years and they have been trying to get funding so they could do the project. They never had the money … until the stimulus showed up.”

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