General Question

canidmajor's avatar

A benevolent billionaire steps up to pay for the infrastructure repair to Flint, Michigan’s water system; exactly how?

Asked by canidmajor (14825points) January 3rd, 2019

Not the hands on mechanics or engineering, but how would they actually go about this? What legislative and/or political hurdles would they have to conquer? I know someone can’t just walk in and hire contractors to work on public systems, so what steps would have to be taken? Shmooz the mayor? Flatter the town council? What?

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11 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

One would go to the city of Flint Utilities Department, and tell the folks at the Water Service Center that you would like to speak to the Department Head about full scale immediate funding of the pipe replacement project.

Or you could speak to the mayor. It isn’t a difficult prospect at all if one has the money.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I read an article about the go fund me thing for Trump’s stupid wall. It was about how the money would legally be transferred to the government. I think it mentioned that a citizen can gift money to the government, in some way.

Now. How would one make sure that the money all went to the desired project, and that none was stolen through corruption? No clue…

canidmajor's avatar

@MrGrimm888, that is exactly the heart of the Q. I wondered if anyone knew what the actual process of this would be, without losing control of the money, what steps to engage in to implement the process, etc.

Darth_Algar's avatar


Yeah, a citizen can gift money to the US Treasury, but there’s no mechanism to insist that it be spent in any particular manner. I believe that such donations go into the US Treasury’s general fund, which is primarily used to cover the day-to-day expenses of running the federal government.

What I suspect will happen is that the dude who set up this GoFundMe will off-shore the money and abscond to some island in the Caribbean.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Ha! Yeah. That’s a possibility…

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I figure Trump has all of his shell companies set-up for construction with a “no-bid”, so he all set to profit from the WALL!.

canidmajor's avatar

Um…guys, this is in General…

MrGrimm888's avatar

I do not know the process. I assure you that Uncle Sam would take money. As I would NEVER give more than is mandatory, I have never looked into how it works.

I guess I was trying to give a starting place to how it would work.

LostInParadise's avatar

The city could ask for competitive bids for fixing the water supply. The billionaire would make a bid of $0, which would presumably ensure receipt of the contract.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Here’s a real-life case of such philanthropy. Mark Zuckerberg wanted to make a big impact on education, and picked Newark as the beneficiary.

The New Yorker – May 19, 2014 – Schooled: Cory Booker, Chris Christie, and Mark Zuckerberg had a plan to reform Newark’s schools. They got an education. By Dale Russakoff

canidmajor's avatar

Thank you, @Call_Me_Jay, that is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for, philanthropy on a municipal level, and how it might happen.

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