McCain: Boyer one of worst Stimulus projectsWritten by Betsy Woodruff | | email@example.com
Senators Tom Coburn and John McCain said the U.S. government is wasting money by allotting $200,000 in the stimulus bill for “sprucing up” the S.S. Willis B. Boyer, a large boat that doubles as a floating museum in International Park.
McCain and Coburn wrote that the museum lost funding from the City of Toledo in 2007, adding, “the American taxpayer is funding what the boat’s own city will not, and what one visitor described as ‘ready for the scrapyard.’”
The statement came in a document called “Summertime Blues,” which McCain and Coburn said lists the most significant wastes of stimulus dollars.
The museum was No. 24 on McCain and Coburn’s list of wasteful expenditures.
The complete entry:
24. Ship Museum Averaging 30 Visitors A Day (Toledo, OH) – $200,000
The S.S. Willis B. Boyer, formerly the Col. James M. Schoonmaker, was proclaimed to be “The World’s Largest Bulk Freighter” and “Queen of the Lakes” — from 1911 to 1914, that is. These days, it is more of a king of the stimulus, having just received $200,000 as part of the Recovery Act funding the state of Ohio received from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Now a museum, this large boat sits docked in International Park. The museum is only open from April through October, and hosts 6,000 visitors a year, or an average of only 30 visitors a day. It lost its funding from the City of Toledo in 2007. Now the American taxpayer is funding what the boat’s own city will not, and what one visitor described as “ready for the scrapyard.” The museum has survived because of partnerships with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, the Toledo Blade, Boyer/Riverfront, Inc., many volunteers, and renting out the space for private events. Now supporters hope that this stimulus money will help with sprucing up the boat, once host to “legendary guests such as Andrew Carnegie and others,” and possibly moving it elsewhere in Toledo to attract more visitors.