Some 214 communities have been awarded a total of $48 million in grants to improve local recreational amenities in the hope of stemming the outward migration of residents to newer suburbs. It is doubtful, however, that a new swimming pool or skating rink would significantly alter a resident's decision to relocate. Meanwhile, a number of projects clearly conflict with the statutory prohibition against government competing with the private sector in recreation services. The grants also represent another shift of local government functions to the state, further reducing accountability and citizen influence. The recreation projects funded include:

  • $495,000 to Oak Park to outfit the city pool with a new deck, pipes, filtration system, lockers and concession stand. On three separate occasions, Oak Park voters rejected local bond proposals to finance the project. [34]

  • $196,000 to the city of Huntington Woods for a "free-form" skateboard area and in-line skating rink.

  • $500,000 to Rochester Hills to renovate a dairy barn.

  • $99,000 to the city of Berkley for tennis courts.

  • $479,000 to Lincoln Park for renovation of an ice arena.

  • $44,700 to Pentwater for a fish-cleaning station.

  • $277, 200 to Clinton Township for restrooms at Historic Village.

  • $159,995 to Blissfield for pool renovations.

  • $389,702 to the city of Wayne for an ice arena.

  • $426,300 to the city of Lansing to construct parking for its recreation complex.

  • $122,500 for Houghton County to purchase ice rink refrigeration equipment.