Since the federal government designed COVID-19 relief funds to get out the door fast, the tradeoff was lax verification and oversight. This led to misallocation and misuse of the funds.
While that may have seemed like a fair trade off at the time, it has funded hundreds of wasteful pet projects. One example is Lenawee County in Michigan, which is using COVID-19 funds to build a sports complex that could cost up to $80 million.
The Center Square reported this project is designed to help attract travel sports teams from out of town, which would bring in revenue for the city. But even their own consultants admit they face a litany of challenges.
The sports complex presumably doesn’t have any tenants yet, since nobody requested this project, and the business will operate at a loss if it doesn’t find enough, according to the report. There are also many sports complexes like this in the region, so it will face stiff competition.
After announcing the project, some residents were rightly concerned. Could this $80 million have been better spent elsewhere? Kevon Martis, a zoning administrator and county resident, noted that this project is twice the annual budget for the county.
Elected officials should make their case why they thought this was a good investment.
This article was originally posted on Michigan county poised to spend $80M in COVID funds on sports complex