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12 > Image 12 of Inventory of the Records of the Work Projects Administration in Kentucky

Part of Kentucky Works Progress Administration Publications

4 With the establishment of the WPA the grant-in-aid method . of financing work relief, as under FERA, was abandoned and a new system of federal administration extending into the states and territories was set up. WPA was completely a federal program with all officials and project workers being paid by the federal government. Nevertheless state and local govern- ments continued to shoulder some very large responsibilities in the operation of the program. Determination of an appli- cant's eligibility for the WPA program was such a responsi- bility. Project planning and operations were state and local government responsibilities. Formal proposals for WPA projects, made by a legally responsible public agency, had_to show the estimated cost, what part of that cost the sponsor was prepared to pay, and the amount and types of labor required. Sponsors were responsible for the architectural and engineering aspects of construction projects. Sponsors also agreed that if for any reason the WPA was unable to complete the project they would complete at least a usable unit. When completed, projects belonged to the sponsors who would maintain and operate the project at their own expense. Sponsors shared in the program by paying a portion of the project's cost, usually the nonlabor costs, which varied from one project to another. Materials, equipment, tools, skilled labor, and office space were the umst common types of sponsors' contributions. { The desire to secure useful public improvements and services that might otherwise be economically unattainable was a very important incentive for project sponsorship. Another incentive derived from the fact that the more people on work relief at any one time meant fewer people in need of direct relief-still a local responsibility. Construction projects were in wide demand due to their need and utility. Service projects, usually sponsored by local governments as opposed to state sponsorship, generally began as WPA sponsored programs (Federal Project A Nos 1-6. see page 9 ) to demonstrate their usefulness and employ the needy white collar workers. Projects also received sponsor- ship from other federal agencies. Although the numbers employed W on these other federal projects were relatively small, the l work-conservation of natural resources, flood control, research ` studies, and improvement of defense facilities-was of consider- _ able importance to the nation. To obtain project approval a sponsor's project proposal was forwarded through an area or district WPA office to the state office. The proposal was reviewed for eligibility and y compliance with federal law and WPA regulations. If it was found acceptable, an application was made by the state WPA , administrator to the Washington WPA office for authority to spend federal funds for the project. Final approval was given by the President. Approved projects were released for opera- tion by the state administrator to coincide with the availability I