City manager sees 'good news' in federal spending deal after warning of possible 'drastic' cuts

Posted at 4:45 PM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-03 16:47:57-04

CINCINNATI -- All the city's fretting over federal funds may have been for nothing.

A soon-to-be-approved bipartisan spending deal doesn't appear to have the "extreme" and "drastic" cuts City Manager Black feared, he told City Council in a memo Wednesday.

Instead, funding for many programs is being held steady or slightly increased compared to last fiscal year.

The Community Development Block Grant program, which President Donald Trump threatened to eliminate entirely, will have gotten $3 billion in funding -- a $200 million bump compared to last fiscal year.

Funding remained steady for several other programs, including grants used to hire firefighters.

The federal government's fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

Many of the programs thought to be on the chopping block funded local nonprofits. City administrators had warned those groups to tighten up their spending as talk of cuts loomed large in Washington. In his memo, Black said he expects that warning isn't needed any more.

The city's still combing through the bill, Black's memo said, but "it appears to be good news."

The city manager also said last month that uncertainty around the federal budget was complicating the city's budget plans. Cincinnati already faces a $25.1 million deficit. Black plans to give his budget to Mayor John Cranley by May 18.