It's hard to remember the City of Warren getting a bigger shiner than the one that was delivered by the demise of the Allegheny Center for the Arts building project and the Anchor Grant that was supposed to fund it.
To say that the program was handled badly on a couple of different levels is understatement.
Perhaps some of the public's exasperation over the mess comes from the assumption that government, in a nod to its fiduciary responsibilities to the public, has enough checks and safeguards in place to prevent such a disaster.
Apparently, the City of Warren did not have those safeguards in place, requirements that any frugal lender would have for a loan of that size.
The steps that City Council took Monday to codify procedures for future grants and loans, is a step toward preventing such a debacle in the future.
And, with any luck, they will be sufficient to convince state and federal authorities that grants given to the City of Warren won't simply be frittered away like that one was. More importantly, they should serve to rebuild confidence among the city's taxpayers, because it is the local taxpayers who are most directly affected when projects go in the tank.
Even so, it may be a long time before Warren is bestowed money for some innovative project outside of an entitlement program.
Other local governments could take a lesson from Warren's failure and, unlike this city, make sure such safeguards are in effect before rather than after things go south.
The damage to the city's reputation will take a long time to repair, though Council's action Monday is a step in that direction.