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Ennis Daily News

Army Corps has to produce answers soon

We don’t think the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is deliberately mismanaging the Lake Bardwell stimulus controversy.
They certainly have no interest in a prolonged or controversial situation. Yet, this is where we find ourselves.

City management has requested information, dialogue and reasonably fast responses to its inquiries about the funding confusion that has developed in the last six months, but the answers are slim and spare.
We as a funding partner have done more than our part. We have bent over backwards waiting and waiting.

We expect more from the federal government, and as much as it is easy to use the feds as a punching bag these days, the Lake Bardwell case is just one of many like it nationwide.

The intent of the economic stimulus put forth in 2008 and 2009 was relatively clear, even if the mechanics weren’t. It’s an understatement to say that raiding the treasuries of cities like Ennis, Corsicana and Waxahachie for funding support to fuel work at manmade reservoirs was not a part of that intent.

However, as we said before, this is where we find ourselves. Nearly five months into the current fiscal cycle, these cities have no clear-cut answers about how much they will be required to pay for the work being done right now. The obligations are building every day, and building to a total that is totally in the dark.

You can’t do business that way at any level but the federal government, or it comes back to haunt you.

Now, the cities that have been left holding the bag are putting their collective foot down. In the coming days, we can expect to see some stern city leaders looking for direct communication with Corps officials on these matters. Frankly, it’s overdue.

The Corps needs to set out to answer the questions that haven’t been answered:

• How can huge cost increases to small cities be justified?

• What can cities do to spread out the costs associated with all of this work over a manageable time frame?

• What can be done to stop these kinds of situations in the future?

There are more and more questions the longer the issue wears on unresolved. The Corps cannot continue to drag its feet.

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Posted by on Jan 24 2010. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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