Trustees' Blood Boils Over Loss of $161,000 in Township Development Funds
Macomb Township Supervisor Mark Grabow called the loss disturbing, while Trustee Roger Krzeminski noted the board has let funds go in the past.
Tempers flared during the Oct. 10 Board of Trustees meeting after Supervisor Mark Grabow discussed his anguish over the recent loss of Macomb Township's approximate $161,000 Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) funds.
A part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, CDBG funds support local community development programs, which include infrastructure expansion and activities that benefit low- and moderate-income persons.
Grabow said he received a letter from Macomb County stating that since the township has not yet found a proper way to spend the money, that it will be reallocated to another community. He said the money should have been used to expand senior services, or perhaps build another senior center.
He also mentioned that the funds could have been allocated to build a pole barn to house the township’s three Dial-A-Ride SMART buses, a proposal he supported, yet was denied by the other six members. The pole barn would have cost $750,000.
“I’m very sad to say that’s very disheartening. We could have used those funds to enhance the senior building, to enhance the garage that has been spoken about so many times. We’ve had a number of opportunities to use those funds, so I find it extremely disheartening,” Grabow said.
Trustee Roger Krzeminski pointed out later in the meeting that in the 1990s, the township donated unused CDBG funds. He said the issue isn’t about the senior center, but rather Grabow’s discontent with the board’s decision not to support construction of the pole barn. He tried to make this point a few times, but was interrupted by Grabow. “Just because this $750,000 barn didn’t get built, it’s OK because maybe there’s another community that really needs (the CDBG funds)," Krzeminski said.
The pair continued to argue the issue, sometimes raising their voices, until Clerk Michael Koehls and Trustee Dino Bucci asked for order.