Time to rethink state ‘grant’ funds

Published 9:51 pm Thursday, April 21, 2011

In response to the article, “Grant lands benches for Square”, published on Tuesday, April 19, 2011, it is time to rethink how state tax money is being spent.

While it is laudable for Representative Alan Boothe to look after his district in response to the downtown revitalization group, the overall financial condition of Alabama state government dictates that state tax money should not be spent for park benches and trash containers in downtown Troy.

These items should have been paid for by private money in the same manner that The Gazebo on the Square was financed. Or, the City of Troy should have paid for the benches and trash containers.

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With the state budget in 15 percent proration, state funds should be spent on state priorities not on projects that should be funded by local tax money or local private money.

When local teachers do not have money for classroom supplies and, when the creation of a Drug Court in Pike County is in question because of diminishing state funds,

please don’t spend state money on benches and trash containers.

There is approximately $14 million allocated in the State FY 2011 budget for Community Service grants.

Even in these hard financial times, state House members recently passed an FY 2012 educational budget with $4 million allocated for these grants and sent it to the State Senate.

Our Representatives and Senators need to use this money for state needs and not as a “slush” fund for legislators to dole out in their districts.

We pay our state taxes to fund state priorities. We pay our local taxes to fund our local priorities. Let’s not mix the two like we have in the past.

Bert Fridlin