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Why not use the cash federal officials offer?
FUNNY HOW there's been so much chatter lately about federal money. Local "leaders" like to say they don't want it, distancing themselves from anything that might contribute to the nation's ocean of red ink. Or the federal government says "No, you can't have it, we're going to keep it," as punishment when the state isn't doing what Washington wants.
The Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors, with federal money at their disposal, once felt D.C. couldn't afford to build sidewalks in the courthouse area. Then some board members changed their minds. In King George County, one supervisor decided the county would no longer participate in a program to provide rebates or other federal aid for the purchase of energy-conserving devices and home improvements.
Now the Environmental Protection Agency has told Virginia officials that it is cutting half of a $2.4 million grant for Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts because the state has been dragging its feet on reducing the filth that's washed from streets and parking lots into bay tributaries when it rains. Localities have complained about the cost of controlling such runoff.
Here's an idea: let's be willing recipients when the federal government is handing out the cash. Money we turn away is simply going to go to some other community that will put it to good use. And before they threaten to take money away, let's allocate it so the local officials who say projects like cleaning up the bay impose too great a local burden have less to complain about.
This is money that's already been spent, as far as the Washington bean counters are concerned. Turning it down, or letting it be rescinded, is pound foolish--no penny wise about it.