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City looks for areas in need of improvement

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City improvements may soon be possible as the mayor’s office and city council plan to apply for the annual Community Block Grant Fund (CBDG).

During Monday’s public hearing, Mayor Paul Wiehl, presented a layout of the grant to those in attendance and city council members.

“In the past we have funded the Grosvenor Slip, Mill St., and Carpenter,” Wiehl said. “First we have to take in public opinion and the next is to narrow down the choices for improvement projects.”

CBDG, a grant program funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), awards money for a large range of activities including economic development projects, street or water drain and sanitary improvements, park acquisition and demolition of unsafe structures. Currently HUD provides grants on a formula basis to 1,209 general units of local government and States, according to their website.

If the city receives the grant, approximately $75,000 would be provided. The city must fund 20 percent of the grant while the remaining 80 percent is awarded. Once the money is given to the city, local government has one year to use the funds to repair nominated areas.

Often, the grant has been used to leverage other grants. Pieces of the money are appropriated for actual improvements and the remaining funds go towards the city side of the split funding with HUD.

The public hearing on Monday was the first of two meetings to plan what the grant will be used for. The next meeting will be held in late May before the grant deadline on June 21.

Those wishing to provide ideas for locations in need of improvement are encouraged to contact the mayor’s office.

“I can always take some ideas and it is up to the public if they have ideas,” Wiehl said.

Council members also encouraged residents to keep their eyes open for areas in need of assistance.

“Please, as you are driving around the city, look for opportunities,” City Council President Jim Sands said.

 

 

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