Hearing slated for CDBG projects

Published 1:01 pm Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A public hearing on the proposed allocation of federal funds to a Chesapeake improvement project is set for June 19.

This follows a community meeting last week at the Chesapeake Community Center where area residents gave their input on what projects they want.

“We had a pretty good meeting,” Ralph Kline, of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization, said. “We had a pretty steady flow of people from the neighborhood.”

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At the town meeting, residents were given a list of possible projects and were asked to rank them.

“Demolition of dilapidated houses was overwhelming,” Kline said. “Then sidewalk replacement, recreation improvements and landscaping and beautification starting from the Chesapeake center and moving outward.”

Funding sought would come from the Community Development Block Grants. To be eligible for CDBG money, the targeted neighborhood must have a low-to-middle income range. Last week CAO volunteers canvassed the section of Rockwood from the Symmes Creek to Indian Guyan Creek asking for household and income data.

“With the income survey, it appears we fit the income requirement that allows us to invest CBDG dollars in that area,” Kline said.

Before applications can be made, the county must hold a public hearing detailing the project allocation of the funds. There are four programs the CAO is seeking funding for Chesapeake and the City of Ironton.

In the Allocation Program, $41,800 is sought for clearance of slums and blight; $35,000 for street improvement in Ironton; $30,000 for street improvement in Chesapeake; $17,500 for fire safety; and $10,900 for parks and recreation.

In the Capital Infrastructure Program $280,000 is sought for utility relocation and $20,000 for general administration. In the Neighborhood Revitalization Program, $280,000 is sought for neighborhood improvement and $20,000 for general administration. In the Downtown Revitalization Program $250,000 is sought for building repairs; $20,000 for parks and recreation; and $30,000 in general administration.

“The public hearing is a formal meeting where you publish what you are applying for and gives a last chance for comments,” Kline said.

The county would probably hear in September or October if the applications are improved.

“What we would see if we were to get the funds is go full force in 2015 for the improvements,” Kline said.

The hearing starts at 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 19, at the county commission chambers.