Ross Adkins, a spokesman in the corps’ Tulsa office, said a statement had been put out from the Washington headquarters on Monday that work on the project "is not going forward.” Adkins described the lake as "out in the middle of nowhere” and said other alternatives for protecting public safety would be examined.
But Coburn spokesman John Hart said the corps has not officially killed the project and may, in fact, go forward with it.
The Tulsa region developed a list of dozens of projects, including guardrails at other Oklahoma lakes, to be funded with money from the $787 billion stimulus package.
"They asked for a laundry list of recommendations of things that we could do,” he said.
According to Hart and Coburn’s report, the Perkins wastewater treatment plant project grew in cost because of the union wage and Buy America rules attached to it.
The cost escalation negated any benefit from receiving the money, the report states, and led to an increase in residents’ utility bills.
Gibbs said the problem in Perkins was the state loan used by the city for the balance of the project cost, but Hart said the loan had nothing to do with raising the cost of the project.
Gibbs said he hadn’t looked at all of the projects cited in Coburn’s report. Hart said it was "disappointing that he’s commenting on something he hasn’t read.”
Hart said an overarching theme of the report is that "low-priority projects are being funded at the expense of higher priority projects.”