JAMESTOWN – A local homeless shelter and owner-occupied property rehabilitation along North Main St. are just two of the projects that would benefit from the latest round of federal community development funding coming to Jamestown.
On Monday Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi presided over a public hearing on the city’s plan to spend more than $1,158,000 in funding from the federal Community Development Block Grant program and another $326,000 from the federal HOME Program. Both programs are annual allocations that come out of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
City Development Director Vince DeJoy, whose office worked to put together the project list for 2018, said the city was actually going to receive $102,000 more in CDBG money and $96,500 more in Home money, which counters the trend of reduced funding the city had experienced in recent years.
Among the project proposals that would see money from the CDBG fund is the Exterior Structural Rehabilitation of the UCAN Mission Building at 7 W First St. The project is slated to receive $100,000.
Meanwhile, another new project is the North Main Street Corridor Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program, which would receive $110,000. The program is intended to address housing code violations at properties along the corridor and aligns with the recently completed Unite North Main study commissioned by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.
Other allocations include:
- $180,000 for the Neighborhood Target Area Infrastructure Improvement Plan to help upgrade sub-standard curbing, sidewalks, and streets in targeted neighborhoods;
- $125,000 for target demolition projects involving blighted and condemned homes;
- $120,000 to continue to bring city infrastructure and properties into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act;
- $120,000 for the Target Area Greenlining Façade Improvement Program;
- $115,000 for Downtown Handicapped Accessibility Improvement Program to assist business and building owners;
- And $56,839 to help pay for a city Target Code Enforcement Officer.
Of the $326,700 in HOME program funding, $245,000 would go toward Citywide Owner Occupied Rehabilitation while $49,00 would go toward programs that help to rehab vacant homes with the intent to sell to a new owner afterward.
During the hearing, representatives from both JRC and UCAN Ministries expressed their appreciation for the proposed funding allocation, explaining why it is important to help the organization continue its mission of helping the homeless.
Meanwhile, city resident Doug Champ expressed his concern that of the $1,158,000 in CDBG money, nearly 25 percent was going toward paying for salaries of city employees through administrative fees or subsidizing a code enforcement officer salary.
Mayor Sam Teresi said that while the hearing on the CDBG and Home Program allocations was last night, the public is encouraged to continue offering input on the proposed plan up until the city council votes on it during its regular voting session on June 25.