There’s a great point-counter-point on Cook County and the NTIA/RUS funding in Politics in Minnesota. Cook County is working on an application for ARRA funding. They are asking for $30 million. Politics in Minnesota’s Sarah Janecek ran an editorial that pointed out that while $30 million isn’t a big chunk of the money available; it comes to roughly $5,000 per resident. Jim Boyd, Cook County resident and former Star Tribune reporter, posted a comment laying out the reasons that Cook County deserves the money – the most pressing argument to me being potential for diversifying economic development. It’s a great read!
The one point I’d add is that I think the stimulus funding is supposed to go to areas where it didn’t make economic sense for businesses to provide service. (Or at least to areas where the market hasn’t proven desirable yet.) I think by definition those areas are going to be expensive to reach and sparely populated. Business is happy to serve Minneapolis.