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Private donations funded most of All-American City trip to Tampa

When the city flew a crew of 13 (plus family members who mostly paid their own way) to Tampa, Fla. to compete as a finalist for the All-American City award, it spent about $37,000. That’s a high cost for an award when the city is facing a $13 million shortfall. Even City Manager Robert Layton said he can see why people would question it. He wasn’t surprised that The Eagle had gotten a package highlighting a city newsletter that was upbeat about the city’s trip and winning of the award along with a newspaper clip about the budget woes. But, it turns out, private donations reimbursed the city for most of its expenses. About $32,000 of it, anyway. Mayor Carl Brewer is fund-raising for the rest, and The Eagle will be looking for the follow through. (Here’s more on this Friday’s celebration.)

Meanwhile, here’s a look at who paid what for the 6-day trip. (more…)