JUST throwing money at a problem does not work. The state's purchase of 77 high-speed routers for the State Police is a perfect example.
As the Gazette's Eric Eyre has reported, only one of the routers has been made to work. It's in Logan. The other 76 are not being used.
The routers cost more than $1.7 million. To make them operational would cost $170,000 more -money the State Police could use elsewhere.
The money for the gizmos came from the $126.3 million in federal stimulus funds West Virginia received to expand high-speed Internet service.
State officials spent more than $24 million for 1,000 large routers, devices that connect personal computers and the like to the Internet. The routers cost a whopping $22,600 each.
High-speed access to the Internet is a must, but the way the state did it is simply inexplicable.
Many of these routers remain unused, including 76
of the 77 given to the State Police. It turns out the
devices do not contain a module to handle voicemail. Purchasing what is needed could cost as much as $170,000.
The rush for "shovel ready" projects to make the stimulus look good led to this cosmic foulup.
State officials face a deadline of spending the rest of the $126.3 million by Feb. 13 or risk having to return the unspent money.
Given that the federal government has spent $16 trillion borrowed dollars, the public might be better served if the money were returned - along with the 76 routers the State Police cannot use.