GREENVILLE – The Darke County Commissioners hosted the first of two public hearings for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds Wednesday morning, with only one real change noted from previous years.
Jeff Marshall, Community Development/Grants Coordinator, distributed general information about the CDBG program to the various local officials present, including eligible activities, program requirements and application deadlines. The CDBG program can fund a broad range of activities, including economic development projects, down payment assistance for eligible homebuyers, demolition of unsafe structures, rehabilitation of housing and neighborhood facilities, and infrastructure improvements, such as streets, curbs, sidewalks, water supply, drainage and sanitary sewers.
The activities must be designed to benefit primarily low to moderate income (LMI) persons, aid in the prevention or elimination of slums and blighted areas, or meet an urgent need of the community.
The big change this year, Marshall said, is the increase in available funding for the Neighborhood Revitalization Program, which increased from $300,000 last year to $500,000 this year.
The CDBG program funds to be available this year are estimated as follows: Community Development Allocation Program, $131,00 (estimated based on last year’s funding. The actual amount will be known by the end of March or beginning of April, Marshall said.); Neighborhood Revitalization Program, $500,000; Downtown Revitalization Program, $300,000; Critical Infrastructure Program, $300,000; Residential Infrastructure Program, $600,000; Economic Development Public Infrastructure Program, $500,000; Economic Development Loan Program, $500,000; CDBG Discretionary Fund, negotiable based on need; New Horizons Fair Housing Program, $15,000; and Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program, $400,000 (up to $800,000 if partnerships are established).
The county may fund up to four projects under the Community Development Allocation Program, which will be selected by the Board of Commissioners from applications received. The due date for applications is April 22 at 4 p.m. to the board office. The county should be notified in September which projects have been approved. Proposed activities must be completed between September 2016 and November 2017. Organizations other than local governments submitting an application must include a copy of their constitution and by-laws.
The second CDBG public hearing is tentatively scheduled for May 18 at 10 a.m. at the Commissioner’s Office. The hearing will be advertised in the Daily Advocate at a later date.