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Some win, some lose in Cincy federal funds decisions

A Cincinnati Council majority is ready to approve a plan to allocate federal funds that make cuts to some popular programs.  The Budget and Finance Committee yesterday passed a proposal spending Community Development Block Grant dollars.

The federal money is being shifted in part to pay for part of Mayor John Cranley's Hand Up initiative to reduce poverty.  

But the proposal means some other popular programs in the city will see reduced funding or no money at all.  

Funds are being reduced for People Working Cooperatively (PWC), Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), Keep Cincinnati Beautiful and for a group working to clean up the Mill Creek.  

Supporters of money for these agencies say the cuts will make it harder for them to attract other revenue since the federal funds are used for matching money.

Council Member Kevin Flynn is supporting the plan the Budget and Finance Committee approved Monday.

"It's not like the city is running away from these groups, they all do great work no question," Flynn said.  "But we're not leaving them high and dry.  They do have other sources of money."

Council Member Chris Seelbach failed in an effort to have the committee amend the ordinance for the federal grant money.  He said there are alternatives to make everyone happy.

"Fully fund the mayor's Hand Up initiative without making the drastic cuts that are going to really hamper and kill some programs that I think we all value and make the city what it can be," Seelbach said.

The city's federal allocation has been dropping in recent years meaning there are fewer dollars to spend on the numerous programs the city once supported.

The full Council will vote on the issue Wednesday.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.