Cities selling stimulus money at discount

California news source:

A few area cities have found an alternate way to use their federal stimulus money: selling it to other cities for cash.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority has allocated a minimum of $500,000 in federal stimulus funds to each of the 88 cities in the county for transportation-related projects. Unincorporated areas will benefit, too.

Several smaller cities, some without shovel-ready projects, are making deals with others to sell or swap such funds and replenish their general funds.

“The best way to see this is as a huge windfall for us because we do have the flexibility of using the general fund money now,” city manager Shauna Clark of La Habra Heights said.

The city of Bradbury, with a population of roughly 1,000, is working on a deal to sell its $500,000 share of federal funding doled out by the MTA to the city of Torrance for $315,000 in cash for its general fund, according to Torrance officials.

Torrance, which was allocated $2.9 million by the MTA, plans to use the extra funds for a variety of street improvement projects, including a major reconstruction and expansion of Crenshaw Boulevard, one of the city’s main thoroughfares, said city manager LeRoy Jackson.

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