Fischer Says New Federal Grants May Be Limited For Cities

by Gabe Bullard on January 21, 2011

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says large-scale federal assistance for cities is likely out of the question for the next two years.

Like many cities, Louisville took advantage of federal stimulus dollars to complete long-planned projects in 2009 and 10.

Fischer and several other mayors met with President Barack Obama Friday. And Fischer says there wasn’t much talk of further government spending for cities.

“It doesn’t look hopeful that there’s going to be a lot of federal money. Obviously the stimulus funds are over. The tax cut will have more of a bottom-up effect on the economy with more spending on the retail level. But I don’t anticipate a lot of big spending on federal programs,” he says. “It mainly was about continuing funds like Community Development Block Grants like going into cities and getting leverage for terms, making sure those programs stay in effect as much as possible. The focus was on education; obviously our country is falling behind.”

Fischer says the president did talk about using community development block grants and other existing programs. The meeting came at the end of the winter gathering of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which began Thursday. Fischer also met with members of Kentucky’s congressional delegation. He says they discussed Louisville’s needs and transportation issues. Specifically, Fischer says he hopes proposed cuts to the Ohio River Bridges Project will not lead to more delays as federal studies are updated.

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