THE MONEY TRAIL

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FYI: Two years ago the feds promised $21 billion in recovery aid for the city. What happened to all that money? According to the Independent Budget Office, that’s a tough question to answer. But in a report released today, the IBO broadly tracks the recovery money that we have already received and spent. Both the city and state, the report says, have been fully reimbursed for clean-up costs, and what remains are decade-long projects to spur growth. As of this spring, the city and state had spent $2.3 billion of the $3.4 billion channeled through the Community Development Block Grant program, primarily on efforts to offset businesses’ lost revenue. Labor and small business advocates have complained, however, that much of that money was targeted at keeping large companies in lower Manhattan rather than creating new jobs or helping small businesses stay open. Check out the upcoming September/October issue of City Limits magazine for Alyssa Katz’s exploration of ways the city could use its remaining CDBG money on such efforts. [7/31/03]