Wendell Town Commissioner Sid Baynes made an interesting point at last night's town board meeting.
He suggested the town should make its own list - in much the same way Raleigh and other cities have - and present it to the incoming administration of Barack Obama. Baynes recognized that Wendell might be a small fish in a big ocean, but he said that shouldn't stop the town from doing what it can to raise revenue.
Town Manager David Bone said the town has worked with Raleigh and other local municipalities to press the case for certain infrastructure needs that could be included as part of a stimulus package. Among the project Bone cited were water and sewer improvements Raleigh is seeking and mass transit needs being pursued in eastern Wake County.
Bone agreed to put a list together for commisisoners to review at an upcoming meeting.
What would be interesting, though, is how commissioners might react if forthcoming stimulus package "bailouts" are structured as matching grants or if they come with strings attached.
Baynes and fellow commissioner Carol Hinnant were hesitant to approve several requests last night to make grant applications for such things as sidewalks and additional police officers because they required a local match.
Their question was where's the money coming from for the local match. Baynes and Hinnant voted to approve each grant application despite their concerns.
Of course, they realize it takes money to make money. No one is likely to give the town anything for free. But leveraging a small amount of local money to gain a return of 100 percent or more, is a generally good investment.
Now we can sit back and see if the town wins any of the grants it applies for, or if they can catch Obama's ear enough to bring some bacon to Wendell.