MEDC's New Program: Government Funding Government

City of Ypsilanti will benefit from MEDC's $50,000

In promoting a new variation on its expansive mission, a recent Michigan Economic Development Corporation press release referenced a "surge in new businesses, restaurants and shops."

However, none of those enterprises will receive any of the $50,000 MEDC is kicking in to a “crowdfunding” project sponsored by the Michigan Municipal League, a lobbying and information resource organization funded by local governments. Instead, a total of $100,000 will be turned over to the City of Ypsilanti to convert a city-owned farmers market called the Freighthouse into a “community center.”

Essentially, a state “economic development” agency is helping a government-funded lobbyist organization fund an amenity owned by a local unit of government.

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“It’s something governments feel they have to do,” said Leon Drolet, chair of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance. “The money has already been taken from people. It could have been used productively. Instead it exists in a wasteland of bad policy. It was taken out of productive use and put into government use. You get these bizarre results. Nobody cares anymore.”

In response to questions MEDC Spokesman Mike Shore referred to an agency press release.

"Projects like these can greatly help turn a good community into a great community,” said Michigan Municipal League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin, in a press release. “The League strongly advocates the importance of creating communities and places where people want to live, work and play. The effort at the Freighthouse contributes to that placemaking goal in an up-and-coming area of Ypsilanti.”

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See also:

MEDC Boss Says Agency Changing; Has Long History of Backing Bad Companies

There is No Good Reason the MEDC Should Exist

Beer Website Provides More Information About Taxpayer Investment Than the State


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