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Dozens of Michigan towns reject stimulus funding

An article appearing last week in Bridge Magazine highlighted at least 45 Michigan towns that had rejected allocated funds in the most recent federal stimulus bill. One of those is Houghton County’s Franklin Township.

The piece by Jonathan Oosting notes that the municipalities are overwhelmingly conservative, as is most of rural America given results of the last decade’s worth of elections. Franklin Township Supervisor Mary Sears says it isn’t so much a political issue, but rather a practical one.

We don’t have any projects coming up and we just didn’t need it. I mean, why take something that we don’t need?

COVID-19 related expenses are the first priority and Sears says Franklin Township doesn’t have any.

We don’t have anything COVID related [expenses]. We are a very small township. We don’t even keep regular business hours.

Sewer and water infrastructure improvements are another acceptable use of funds. Part of Franklin Township is private septic tanks and wells, with the rest on the City of Hancock’s system.

According to Oosting’s article, the vote against taking the funds was unanimous. The law had set aside over $146,000 for Franklin Township.

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