By Matt Hurley | Special to Ohio Watchdog
What do you call it when a company secures public funding for a project but fails to deliver the product?
Butler County has a name for it — the “Dynus Debacle.” This project was to run fiber-optic cable to a bunch of houses in the county that turned out to be a massive fraud.
Enter New Era Broadband.
This company received a $2.2 million grant and a $738,733 loan from the federal government in stimulus funds to provide “broadband and high speed broadband services to over three thousand unserved residences, businesses and critical facilities in rural Appalachian Meigs County Ohio, providing economic development opportunities and facilitating emergency services.”
But New Era, who did not return calls for comment, is one of many on the non-compliance list for not reporting to the government on how it spent stimulus money as of April.
The project was supposed to provide service to 8,000 people, benefit 165 businesses and six community institutions and support at least 200 jobs, according to an Aug. 4, 2010 blog post on the company’s website.
The project was to be completed two years after construction began.
Stopthecap.com‘s post from last year said the company was still waiting on the funding that it apparently got the year before from stimulus funds.
The latest news shows that New Era is trying to expand in to Washington County, but commissioners there are adamant about not spending taxpayer dollars on the project and have even refused to co-sign a $500,000 loan.
That is probably a smart move on the part of the commissioners as the public has no idea how the stimulus funds were spent.