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Obviously local government budgets are critical to our community dialog. Unfortunately, this article suffers from a number of major flaws. Here are a few.
"And, to cap it all off, the mayor has proposed $27 million in infrastructure improvements, largely helped, of course, by the $10 million the city stands to get from the federal stimulus package."
Response - No stimulus money is reflected in the City of Knoxville's capital budget
"..it seems worth mentioning that the city has been quietly cutting its community grants for the past few years as well. In the 2006-2007 fiscal year, the city gave out $1.9 million. The next year, $1.5 million, this year down to $1.13. And finally, for 2009-2010, Haslam is proposing a $996,000 grant budget, about half what it was three years ago."
Response - Community grants funding has not been cut. What appears to be a reduction in the total reflects changes in categories for some projects. The Affordable Housing funding shown in 2007-8 ($323,000)that is not shown as a community grant in 2008-9 and 2009-10 was not reduced. Rather it was moved to the Community Development Department. The same year funding for the rescue squad ($41,500) was moved to the Fire Dept. Both were done because these were more contracts for services otherwise performed than community grants. Once this, and a few capital projects that have been completed, are removed, an apples to apples comparison of community grants funding has increased to its highest level in the last five years.. $765,700. This is up from $640,900 in the 2006-7 years.
"Local health clinics for the uninsured are facing city and county CUTS (emphasis added) just as their caseloads might see a big increase." ..... "Haslam’s budget has only $5,500, SAME (emphasis added) as in the 2008-09 budget.
Response - Somehow the same funding = cuts.
Thanks, Bill Lyons, Sr. Director of Policy and Communications, City of Knoxville
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