Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stimulus Watch: "ERROR"

Gov. Brian Schweitzer unveiled the new Montana recovery Web site on Wednesday.

Let's just say it didn't exactly go off without a hitch. When I logged on to the Web site...well, the above screen shot should give you the picture.

I know, I know. The site is new and I'm sure the governor's staff are working furiously to work out the bugs, so let's cut them some slack.

However, I'd be lying if I said I didn't find it a bit amusing. Given the level of difficulty and complexity of trying to track the state's $1 billion+ in federal economic stimulus dollars, it's at least somewhat ironic that when I logged on to the state's stimulus tracking Web site, I found this message:
The server at is taking too long to respond.

In the interest of fairness, here's what Schweitzer says the new Web site will provide once it's up and running. From today's press release:

The updated website,, includes an interactive county map that allows users to click on their county for a breakdown of funding into eight categories and a state overview. All monthly agency reports are available on-line.

“We are going to track every dollar,” said Schweitzer. “Every time you see a recovery sign it means we are putting Montanans to work reinvesting in our economy, improving efficiency, increasing public safety, and making a cleaner, healthier Montana.”

The updated website also incorporates an energy home improvement tax calculator. Under the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and state law homeowners are eligible for a $1,500 federal tax credit and a $500 state tax credit for home energy improvements.

“This is a great way for homeowners to see how much tax credits they can receive for home energy conservation improvements,” said Schweitzer. “It’s a win-win for homeowners – you receive a tax credit and see long-term saving in your energy costs.”

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