JAMESTOWN – Members of the public have less than a week remaining to offer any final input on a plan that provides general direction on how an estimated $7.5 million dollars in federal community development money will be spent over the next five years in Jamestown.
According to the Jamestown Department of Development (DOD), the deadline to offer public input on the city’s 5-year Community Development Consolidated Funding plan is 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 24. Those who wish to verbally comment on the plan can do so during a virtual public hearing at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 23.
Each year the city receives federal funding to assist with community development activities. The funding comes from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs, which are administered by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In recent years, the city has received an estimated $1.5 million annually between the two programs.
To help determine what local projects and programs will receive that money, DOD develops a 5-year consolidated plan that identifies priority needs in the community. Those priority needs focus on several general areas, including housing improvement, economic development efforts, acquisition and disposition of blighted homes, public services, and public facilities improvements.
Some of the top priorities for this year include:
- Owner-Occupied Housing Rehab
- Improvements to public sidewalks in low to moderate income neighborhoods
- Improvements to help the city comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act
- Small business improvements
- Removal of vacant and dilapidated homes
- DPW Anti-blight Initiative
- CODE Enforcement
- Lead Paint Abatement Program
- Environmental Remediation of contaminated sites
The city’s next 5-year plan will cover the years 2020-2024. In normal years, the plan would be created in the spring and submitted to HUD for its approval by mid summer, as was the case in 2015. But because of COVID-19 this year, there were delays in the process and the draft 5-year plan is only now nearing the local finish line. The public input offerings are the final steps needed before the Jamestown City Council can approve the plan so it can be sent to HUD for its review and ultimate approval.
The complete draft 5-year plan, along with an specific allocations for each priority need, can be found on the department of development website.
Due to COVID-19 related restrictions, the city’s focus on citizen safety, and in efforts to minimize a large gathering, the Dec. 23 Public Hearing will be held virtually on Zoom. Access to the Public Hearing is as follows:
- Join online: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85383819050
- Join by Phone: (646) 558-8656 (Meeting ID: 853 8381 9050)
Once public comment has ended at 4 p.m. on Dec. 24, the comments for the draft plan will be submitted to the city council to be taken into consideration before it votes on approving the draft plan and sending it to HUD. That vote will likely take place during the council’s Dec. 28 voting session.