Tiny Town's Request for $375M Slice of Stimulus Sparks Uproar

A tiny Alabama town has withdrawn its request for $375 million in funding from the government's economic stimulus package after many people were angry that so much of the money would go to a town with a population of 194 people, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Edwardsville, Ala., located near the Georgia border, originally asked for $375,076,200 to fund "green energy" projects that included a renewable energy museum, scenic railroad, solar-powered lights and vineyards that would affect about 80,000 people, the town claims.

"I know we look like some little Podunk town, and by the Census, we are," E. D. Phillips, the town's representative to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, told U.S. News. "But we really think we've done some amazingly progressive things in the past two years."

The town has now rescinded its request after being met with heavy backlash.

"This really exemplifies the problem. Why are we buying light bulbs for a local community?" U.S. News quoted Tom Schatz, president of the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste, as saying. "If a municipality wants to save money, [it can] go out and buy the light bulbs. There is no reason the federal government should buy them."

When broken down, the proposed funding would have meant nearly $2 million per Edwardsville resident, but the town stood by its claims that it was proud of its efforts for economic revival.

"The public perception of us being full of greed and the tremendously ugly comments have disheartened and disappointed us to the point that we are withdrawing our projects from the U.S. Conference of Mayors survey," Phillips said in a written statement. "We are greatly saddened by the response to our efforts to benefit not only our town, but also the surrounding region of our tricounty area."

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