by Ryan Burns
$121,125,647 to be (more or less) exact. That's how much of Uncle Sam's money flowed into Humboldt County between February 17, 2009, and September 30, 2010, as a result of President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. And the vast majority of that cheddar has been in the form of grants.
If you haven't yet noodled around on Recovery.gov, you're missing out on a cornucopia of accountability. For example, you can break down the data in a variety of ways -- by recipient, zip code, county, Congressional district, state and more -- plus interactive maps provide even more data.
Here's a brief breakdown of the county numbers:
$39.2 million in grants has been awarded to the California Department of Transportation for work on roads and bridges in Humboldt County
$5 million in grants has been given to the Redwood Community Action Agency, including a $1.6 million grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (part of a statewide homelessness prevention initiative) and a $1.4 million grant from the Department of Energy (part of a statewide weatherization assistance program)
$3.2 million in grants was awarded to the Northern California Indian Development Council, more than $3 million of which came from the Department of Health and Human Services [and was evidently distributed by the NCIDC to tribes statewide -- see Greg Gehr's comment below]
$1.1 million in grants has been given to county schools
The effects of these funds are incalculable, but the coin of the realm for many commentators and pundits (who vastly oversimplify matters, some would argue) has been the number of jobs created. According to recipient reports, here in Humboldt County we've seen fewer than 180 jobs as a result of these monies. In case you're curious, that works out to an average annual salary of $673,256.88.