Archived Story

Niles rethinking CDBG funds

Published 1:58pm Thursday, June 14, 2012

City Administrator Ric Huff is recommending a new approach to Niles City Council for spending Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

Niles has until mid-August to submit allocations for $284,000 to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

At its informational committee of the whole meeting Monday night, Huff outlined a strategy to modernize and “touch a lot more people” with the federal aid for low- to moderate-income neighborhoods.

The idea, Huff explained Wednesday, is to focus on fewer bigger-ticket items because the pot of money has shrunk from $600,000 in previous years, making more than four or five “impact” projects not cost-effective.

Huff said, for example, the council could convert the $40,000 home assistance program to an emergency program and not only reduce what can mean a three-month wait for four $10,000 projects to more immediate attention that helps more citizens.

A citizens committee devised the $284,000 list of $15,000 for riverfront fitness stations, $100,000 for roads, $10,000 for the incubator, $39,000 for the Ferry Street Resource Center, $10,000 for the community garden, $30,000 for code enforcement, $40,000 for administration and $40,000 for the home assistance program.

In addition, the council asked Huff to submit his own recommendation before it makes any decision.

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