"Waste Of the Week" on The National Desk: Mismanaged COVID Funds & Taxpayer Abuse from NASA 163_WOTW

October 29, 2021 12:18 PM



WASHINGTON (SBG) - A county in Utah used $322K in COVID funds to expand a snow tubing hill, according to watchdog group Open the Books.

"This was a classic example of use it or lose it spending," said Open The Books’ Adam Andrzejewski to The National Desk. “They had a deadline of December to get the money out the door and they even admitted, maybe they would have made different decisions, but they didn't know how to spend the money.”

An audit of the county’s 2020 finances found that the snow tubing hill was just one of several potentially questionable ways that COVID relief money was used - including reportedly funding businesses connected to county officials.

“The audit dug deep into the $5.1 million that the American taxpayer generously provided the county,” said Andrzejewski. “One of the commissioners, his wife and son got $20,000 for each of their businesses. Another commissioner, his son got $77,000 for some of the companies that he owns.”

Open the Books found that NASA has a maintenance backlog of $2.7 billion. Andrzejewski says that NASA owns $40 billion of buildings, but 75% of those are not up to code.

“They’re old, they need maintenance. There's $2.7 billion worth of maintenance that's needed,” said Andrzejewski. “They don’t choose the projects for maintenance based on need. They choose it based on the division of NASA that owns the most businesses, so it’s not done on a high priority basis at the end of the day there are cost overruns and delays.”

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