ST. LOUIS — Missouri’s list of stimulus non-compliers has grown with the latest report, which tracks entities that have received Recovery Act money and failed to report how they used it.
As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, agencies that get money must report what they did with those funds each quarter. The complete list of non-compliers for the first quarter of 2012 includes 303 entities that failed to file reports on time in March, including 12 that haven’t reported for three or more quarters.
Eight Missouri agencies are on the non-complier list, including the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, which also failed to file a report in the last quarter of 2011. That office is one of 19 nationwide that have failed to comply with filing regulations for the past two quarters.
Lt. Rick Geller, in charge of filing the Newton County reports, seemed exasperated when contacted Wednesday by Missouri Watchdog .
“I have yet to receive any information on how to close it out,” he said. “If someone would tell me how to do it, I’d be happy to close it out.”
Geller said he has been in contact with compliance officials for the Justice Department, who said they would send emails with detailed instructions on how to submit the final report. Geller said he has yet to receive that information.
He complained about the cumbersome process in a Missouri Watchdog story last month.
Newton County received $43,447 in stimulus money to install mobile data terminals in some of its patrol cars.
Ed Pound, communications director for the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, said his organization offers a help line and plenty of tutorials on its reporting website.
“That’s six months of not reporting,” he said of Newton County. “I don’t think it should be that difficult to mark it as a final report.”
The main thrust of the ARRA was to create jobs and save existing ones. But some grant funds have gone toward other purposes, such as improvements to infrastructure.
Geller said he’s entered “0” every quarter for the spot on the reports that lists the number of jobs created.
“It was never about creating any jobs,” he said of the sheriff’s office grant.
St. Louis, on the other hand, has created 15 jobs with its stimulus money — a whopping $4,188,249 to hire staff and make other improvements to its court system.
It failed, however, to file a report for the first quarter of 2012.
The new hires are well compensated. Because of the size of the grant, the city is required to list the top five officers and their compensation, which include: Dennis Jenkerson, $127,000; Charles Bryson, $110,838; Charlene Deeken, $95,212; Robert Kraiberg, $93,262 and Frank Oswald, $90,376.
The last report, filed in December, says the city had spent $2,822,574 of its allocated stimulus funds.
Deeken said she filled out the report for March, but must have “hit the wrong button and it ended up in cyber space.”
As she and others have discovered, reports filed late won’t get entities off the non-compliance list until the next quarter. Deeken said she will file the reports for the first two quarters of 2012 later this month.
“I’m going to make sure I get the confirmation email and print it out this time,” she said. “I don’t plan on making the same mistake twice.”
The Poplar Bluff Police Department has received seven grants totaling $574,725. The latest was targeted at a $41,913 project for a radio-management program, a description for which is not listed on the department’s report page.
The agency did not file a report for the first quarter of 2012, but the December report said $41,484 had been spent, and the program was completed.
Inquiries from Watchdog were referred to Capt. Mike McClain, but a secretary said he was out of the office Wednesday.
Overland Police Department used its $32,031 grant to hire a part-time clerk to scan older police documents into a digital format to help preserve them. Jobs created: 0.3, according to the report.
The last report for the fourth quarter of 2011 said that $29,795 of the money had been used.
Overland Police Chief Michael Laws could not be reached for comment.
The Bates County Sheriff’s Office hired a crime-scene investigator with its $87,040 allocation, with the December report listing the project as “completed.”
Sheriff Chad Anderson could not be reached for comment on the missing first-quarter report.
In its December report, the Jennings Police Department said it had used $79,875 of its $86,723 “implementing technology to assist police officers engaged in crime prevention and community policing activities.” No report was filed in March.
No one answered the nonemergency phone line at the department Wednesday.
The O’Fallon Place Limited Partnership has received $6,882,628 in stimulus money for multi-family housing projects in St. Louis.
The partnership made the list twice in this quarter for not filing a report on renovation work in progress and another report on an incentive fee for the work.
No contact is listed in the reports.
The December report on the work said 19 jobs were created for the construction project.
Pound said the excuses from Missouri agencies follow the national trend.
“We get all kinds,” he said. “Some say they forgot to file. Some say they have technical difficulties.”
Four Missouri agencies on the list last quarter — Kinloch Police Department, Hollister Department of Public Safety, Patriot Company, Inc. and the Washington County prosecuting attorney’s office — avoided the latest list after filing reports to come into compliance.