Feb 18, 2011
Block Grants for Infrastructure
About this time of year the directors of the various social agencies crowd into Allentown Council Chamber for their annual CDBG handout. This ritual has been occurring for about 15 years. The blogosphere is full of Alan Jennings sobbing about the proposed cutback. The Federal Government allows the Block Grant to be used for infrastructure if enough of the population falls within their definition of poverty; unfortunately, we have qualified for many years. Putting aside my well know views on the poverty magnet, we have short changed the city's infrastructure. Although the condition of the gas lines has received much recent attention, the water lines are equally old and leaking. The leaking water washes away the ground supporting the aging gas lines, creating a double threat. In the last ten years we could have directed $100 million dollars of Block Grants toward our infrastructure, with tangible results. The results with the poverty situation are much less clear.