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calendar   Friday - September 27, 2013

What, only 100?

$100 Million In Grants To Detroit

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The federal fingerprint in efforts to fix Detroit is growing larger as the Obama administration has found millions of dollars in grant money to help the bankrupt city hire more police and firefighters, and clear out blighted neighborhoods.

But considering the Motor City is at least $18 billion in debt, it will take a far larger infusion of cash or historic deals with bond holders, insurance companies and other creditors to correct the problem.

Four high-ranking White House officials will discuss federal efforts and other opportunities Friday during a closed-door meeting at Wayne State University with Gov. Rick Snyder, state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr, Mayor Dave Bing and community and business leaders.

The federal money being directed Detroit’s way by the U.S. government totals more than $100 million and will be augmented by millions of dollars more in resources from foundations and Detroit businesses, but it falls far short of a the wider bailout some in the city had sought.

A little gibs be betta den no gibs a tall.

“Something is better than nothing,” said Bridgette Shephard, 47, a social worker who lives in Detroit. “A bailout would have been better, but if we can sustain some of our needs with grants that would be a start. Let’s take it. Whatever kind of money it is to benefit the city, I’m all for it.”

Das wha I jus sayd!

But this is barely a drop in the bucket, and the bucket has some big rusty holes in it.

Detroit has had a poor record in making sure grant money is used properly and even spent at all.

In 2011, Mayor Dave Bing fired the director of the city’s Human Services Department after an internal investigation revealed $200,000 intended for poor residents was spent on office furniture for staff members.

The following year, his office had to scramble to use about $20 million in grants that had been left sitting for demolitions of thousands of vacant houses. The city’s Police Department also allowed a $400,000 grant to lapse for a new armored vehicle.

Corruption, much? Followed closely by lazy and stupid? Like I said, big rusty holes.

The Obama administration is trying to show its support without trying to send any message about a bailout, said Peter Henning, a Wayne State Law School professor.

Officials, especially those from HUD and Transportation, can commit funds for infrastructure projects, while Holder can chip in resources for fight Detroit’s high violent crime rate, Henning said.

“So these are back door ways to provide federal funding and support without having to seek a bailout, which would be dead on arrival from both parties,” he said. “The goal is to strengthen Detroit, but only indirectly. This is at best a muted commitment because what Detroit really needs is dollars and not just support that might be beneficial in three to five years. But any hope of that is a pipe dream.”

Well, yeah. Why should any of us give you a cent, considering how you’ve wasted everything that’s come your way before? The horse is dead. I don’t want to get the bill for giving it a new set of horseshoes.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/27/2013 at 01:16 PM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentCorruption and Greed •  
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