By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jan 16, 2006 at 12:01 PM

Do you wonder why Pabst City's first plan didn't happen? Do you wonder how the area will pay for a new facility for the Milwaukee Bucks? Maybe you worry about the lack of development in your neighborhood? Whatever your development worries, a new study might shine some light.

The Public Policy Forum has been awarded an $89,000 grant by the Helen Bader Foundation to assess how public money is being spent to grow the economy of southeastern Wisconsin's largest city. The study will be a comprehensive look at Milwaukee's economic development expenditures and priorities and how they incorporate the city's development mission "to create jobs, build wealth, and strengthen the urban environment."

"Our study proposes to close this information gap," said Jeffrey C. Browne, Forum president. "We hope the city uses it as a guide in prioritizing and organizing its economic development tools."

Two recent Forum studies - also funded in part by the Helen Bader Foundation - found that southeastern Wisconsin is not fully utilizing two powerful economic development tools: competitive grants and contracts from federal government and tax increment financing.

"We are pleased that the Helen Bader Foundation is taking a leading role to assure better performance of public economic development funds," Browne says. "A comprehensive picture of how Milwaukee spends public money only will help to bolster the economy of the state's largest city."

"The Foundation is pleased to be able to support a study which will help make the city more efficient and effective in its economic development efforts," says Dan Bader, Foundation president.

Milwaukee-based Public Policy Forum - which was established in 1913 as a local government watchdog - is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness of government and the development of southeastern Wisconsin through objective research of regional public policy issues.

The Public Policy Forum web site is: