Just over 100 days ago, Congress passed an unprecedented economic recovery package designed to put Americans back to work and make the critical investments necessary for our long-term economic strength. Already, Hoosiers are starting to see some of the benefits of the plan: lower taxes, extended unemployment insurance and reduced health insurance costs for the unemployed, and millions of dollars committed to build and repair our roads and bridges. And earlier this week, I was proud to welcome Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to Terre Haute to announce $3.3 million in federal recovery funds will be awarded to the Honey Creek-Vigo Conservancy District for a critical flood protection project.
During last summer's devastating floods, I joined area residents who were pitching in to fill sandbags and protect local homes and businesses. That experience allowed me to see firsthand the impact these severe floods have on local families, farmers, and businesses.
The Honey Creek-Vigo Conservancy District will use the funds to build six miles of levees and floodwalls along Thompson Ditch; protecting nearly 400 homes, 200 businesses, and 1,300 acres of cropland and pasture from future floods. In addition, upon the project's completion, many of these homes and businesses will no longer require flood insurance -- an important savings for struggling families and small business owners.
From an economic development standpoint, the project is expected to create an estimated 40 local jobs during its construction. But the long-term economic benefits of the project will be far greater to the community; preventing significant damage and recovery costs from future storms and encouraging new businesses to locate here.
This is just one example of the numerous shovel-ready projects throughout the 8th District that will help put Hoosiers back to work and strengthen our capacity for long-term economic growth.
We must be vigilant in ensuring these dollars are directed to worthwhile projects, so I encourage you to visit http://www.recovery.gov/ to track economic recovery funds and projects. And, if you see waste, fraud, and abuse of economic recovery funds in your community, please consider reporting it to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Fraud Hotline.
Rest assured, I will continue to work with local and state officials and organizations to identify other worthy projects and ensure your tax dollars are being spent wisely.