The CEO of the company holding a rally Saturday for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said his business made zero profit on a project funded by money from the controversial “stimulus” in 2010.
“It wasn’t like I walked away with $1 million in my back pocket,” said Tom Neppl, the CEO of Springs Fabrication, which is hosting a campaign event for former Massachusetts Gov. Romney this weekend. “Sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t.”
The company was hired two years ago as a subcontractor by Merrick & Co., and received $2.3 million to help upgrade the cooling system of a nuclear reactor, said Neppl. The money for the work came from the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed by President Barack Obama in 2009. The bill was designed as an economic “stimulus,” and paid out a final total of $840 billion for schools, tax credits and construction projects across the country.
Romney has said repeatedly that he opposed the stimulus, and that the economy has worsened under the Obama administration.
Springs Fabrication was paid $2,337,248 under the terms of the contract, but Neppl said costs on the project ran over what was allotted for it, and so his company didn’t make any money on the deal.
Neppl’s company was one of at least three businesses that offered bids on the project from Merrick, he said, and he had hoped to make a profit. But as with many other such contracts, that didn’t happen, he said.
Roughly 80 percent of the money went to purchasing materials for the job, he said, and no permanent jobs were created with Springs Fabrication. Much of the funding was spent at or through Fort Carson, he added, and asserted that there was an economic benefit to the Army base.
“Most of the money just flowed through us and went to other people,” Neppl said.
Neppl said he knew the money for the project was coming from the federal stimulus, but that he didn’t think much of that at the time.
“That doesn’t mean I was in support of the stimulus,” he said. “A lot of the country got stimulus money in one way or another.”
The only benefit to Springs Fabrication, Neppl said, was that the project was high-profile, and will probably help them land future contracts.
The Romney campaign reached out to him because it was looking for a location to hold its Saturday rally. Neppl said he’s held plenty of similar events in the past, for both Republicans and Democrats. Springs Fabrication hosted a rally for Democrat Andrew Romanoff, a former Speaker of the state House of Representatives, when he was running for the U.S. Senate in 2010.
“I thought he was a great guy,” Neppl said.
The Romney campaign has not responded to requests for comment.
The Saturday rally will be held at Springs Fabrication at 2:45, at 850 Aeroplaza Drive in Colorado Springs. It is open to the public.