County seeks input on how to spend CDBG funds

Published 10:12 am Thursday, May 2, 2013

Township trustees and village officials have until Wednesday to come up with their wish list of projects they’d like to see in their backyard. And just maybe they might get some of what they want.

Right now, Lawrence County is scheduled to get $143,100 from Community Development Block Grant money with the City of Ironton to get $34,900 for 2014.

That is 25.8 percent less than the amount received last year. At least $100,000 of the county’s portion is earmarked for a sewer line extension at the proposed senior living complex in Rome Township across from Fairland East Elementary School.

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However that figure could get bigger. Possibly up to $900,000 bigger.

“There is a boosting of the CDBG money in three categories,” Commission President Bill Pratt said. “You can apply up for $900,000 every other year.”

The three categories, whose cap is $300,000 each, are downtown areas, neighborhood stabilization and critical infrastructure.

“Neighborhood stabilization would be an area where the community center is in Chesapeake and they have decreased the low to moderate income threshold from 60 to 50 percent,” Pratt said. “That helps more areas qualifiy.”

For some aspects of CDBG grants, areas are eligible only if the income level of the residents is at a lower level. Only Decatur, Symmes and Washington townships entirely fall in that range. Other townships have sections that could be eligible.

Critical infrastructure would be for water and sewer lines.

Letters have been sent to all village and township officials to present their ideas by Wednesday for how they would like to spend the money.

“We will bring all of those projects together with what the commission might want and what the priority levels are,” Pratt said. “The commission will decide.”