Council comfortable with CDBGPublished 8:14pm Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Niles City Council feels “comfortable” with the direction taken for Community Development Block Grant funds.
City Administrator Ric Huff recommended two changes to what a citizens committee approved, shifting $15,000 from Niles Park Board fitness stations to the Department of Public Works for road resurfacing and adding $100,000 to renovate Chapin Mansion.
That makes the allocation for CDBG funds in the 2012-2013 program year starting Oct. 1 $384,000 instead of $284,000.
The $100,000 came from “residuals from projects funded in previous years where people never actually spent all the money. It accumulated over a period of four to five years,” Huff said. “In future years, I truly believe we must take a seriously hard look at how these dollars are spent.”
The BMX park sought $5,000 and gets nothing. Niles DDA Main Street wanted $15,000 for its kitchen incubator and gets $10,000. Niles Community Gardens receives $10,000 instead of $20,000.
Also included in the $384,000 is $39,000 for Ferry Street Resource Center, $30,000 for Niles Fire Department for code enforcement, $40,000 for administration and $40,000 for emergency homeowner assistance.
Community Development Director Juan Ganum suggested discussion on the following fiscal year begin “very early on — this fall.”
Council would set “parameters” before citizen committee input.
“We’re going to be looking at a more limited number of projects for larger dollar amounts,” Mayor Michael McCauslin said.
“If there is consensus,” Ganum said, “we have to provide the public with a 30-day period to comment, then the council adopts the plan in late July or early August.”
The administration is focusing on consolidating expenses spread over several accounts to develop a “true picture” of what a project costs, Huff said.
Niles has until Aug. 16 to submit its allocations to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for federal aid for low- to moderate-income neighborhoods.