Federal Funds Refurbish Downtown Stores, City Parks, and Ponds - (Lynn, MA) $2,835,000+

This year, the Goldfish pond in Lynn, Massachusetts celebrated its 30th year with $35,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds paid to renovate the walls of the small island in the center of the pond. Renovations on the heart-shaped pond itself were completed five years ago, and it is unclear why the island wall was not repaired at that time. According to a local official, the city planned to drain the pond in September 2010 to determine the nature of the work needed on the island wall. The local official explained that because the organization that received the money was non-profit, it did "not have to take the lowest bidder but they [did have to] justify their contractor selection." Renovations on the island wall come on the heels of Lynn receiving $2.8 million in federal funds for neighborhood and park-related programs. The Lynn City Council used these funds, in part, to refurbish another city park and pond. That park and pond received new playground equipment, a gazebo, a pond aerator, a boat dock with a ramp leading up to the dock, and a water play area that included spray jets and nozzles. Meanwhile, in downtown Lynn, federal dollars are replacing the facade of stores in the central business district. Funds obtained from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development were used to update the front of a vacuum store, a video store, a nail salon, a bakery, a beauty salon, and a Mexican restaurant. Since federal funds reimburse the business owner up to $4,000, one local official declared, "[i]t's an inexpensive way to fix up a storefront, especially for the business owner" and urged others to apply. Whether the American taxpayer would agree is uncertain. Wastebook 2010
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