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Monday, April 17, 2017

Local Government and Rural Poverty

Selena Zito reports at The Washington Examiner about Ford Heights, Illinois, a poor African American community:
Being poor in a large or mid-size city is different than being poor in a rural area, if a poor rural town has no tax base, then social services start to erode, things like libraries and water service become at-risk. 
Yes, something as fundamental as water can be denied if your town does not pay its bills — which is exactly what happened here last fall, when the town fell behind in its payments to Chicago Heights, the source of its municipal water supply 
When the Chicago Heights mayor announced that his city would stop providing water to Ford Heights, it caused an understandable panic among residents. When a deal was struck between the two cities, a second blow was dealt to Ford Heights residents: Their water bills doubled. 
And the library? Not only does the town no longer have one (it closed decades ago, then was torn down), but its residents have been denied library cards at the neighboring town of Glenwood-Lynwood's library because Ford Heights has — you guessed it — become delinquent in its payments.