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The City Council has sent a wish-list of programs it wants the federal government to fund to Raleigh’s Congressional delegation. (News and Observer; 1-18-07).


Let’s classify the six projects the newspaper reported three ways: Necessary Projects, Nice Projects (but not immediately necessary) and Luxuries.


Necessary Projects


$5.6 Million – in “homeland security grants to upgrade a communications network.”


Nice Projects


$14 Million – to “develop Leesville Community Park.”


$5 Million – for “a new Raleigh Senior Center.”


Luxuries


$250,000 – to “make the Chavis park carousel a year-round attraction.”


$3.3 Million – for “furnishings, public art and trees on Fayetteville Street.”


$1.4 Million – for “a climate controlled building around the Pullen Park carousel.”


That’s 29.5 million in programs: 19% of the money to be spent on necessities, 64% on nice projects and 17% on luxuries. (Note: The City Council is spending almost as much on luxuries as necessities.)


With the Mayor proposing to spend $3.3 million for trees on Fayetteville Street it’s no wonder critics say he’s on a six-year spending spree.


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