Imagine a department within the cities of Baxter or Brainerd spending $1,000 of their budget with the main reason being that they will receive $2,000 from Crow Wing County for the same project. In other words, spend money just because they would receive other funds as a result. Seems pretty silly and not a wise use of funds, doesn’t it?
Wednesday’s front page article about the cities of Baxter and Brainerd and Crow Wing County spending $500,000 more on the College Drive project just to not let $1 million in federal funds go to waste (“wasn’t being used”) seems ridiculous to me. Wasn't a project of this magnitude already defeated?
And guess where all those funds — federal, county and city — come from? We the taxpayers. We can’t even get our roads snow- and ice-free on a timely basis, but we are willing to spend $500,000 just to get more federal funds?
Let’s do the project that needs to be done, but let’s not add to the project just so we “max out” on the allowable federal funds. If the county and cities would step back and see what signal they are giving to their constituents, they would realize this is a poor decision.