LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Over the past year, nearly one billion dollars in stimulus funds has been spent in Maine.
Officials in Lewiston-Auburn say without the infusion of cash, key projects would have never gotten off the ground. Those improvements were showcased during a special tour through the twin cities Thursday.
A bus load of elected officials visited the St. Mary's Nutrition Center, where stimulus money has been used to hire more staff and expand services for needy families.
Almost $2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is easing flow of the estimated 30,000 cars every day. The road is wider with new left turning lanes and enhanced crosswalks for pedestrians.
Stimulus money was a lifeline for the twin cities Citylink bus system.
State bond money needed to replace aging buses was cut last summer. $1.2 million in federal dollars for new buses is cushioning the blow.
While stimulus funds are eventually expected to provide over $2 billion for projects throughout Maine, some members of congress want the unused money to go to tax cuts. But officials say more -- not less investment is needed to rebuild the economy.