JAMESTOWN – Public input is now being accepted for the city’s plan to spend over $700,000 in federal money for two tentative programs involving finance aid for small businesses and a rental properties impacted by COVID-19.
The money comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was approved by Congress in March.
It was announced last month that Jamestown would receive $704,881 through the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program as an amendment to the city’s 2019 CDBG allocation. Oversight for the spending is being conducted by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Jamestown Department of Development has been working on a tentative spending plan and Development Director Crystal Surdyk updated the city council on the progress of the plan last month as well as this month. During those meetings, Surdyk said the money could only be used for programming that is not currently already provided within the community. She also said city officials also sought input from various non profits in the community to help identify all programming that is already available.
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist also provided an update on the plan during a recent interview on WRFA.
With the draft plan complete, the city is now awaiting further guidance from HUD on the process. Meanwhile, the city says it will move forward with public input.
“Staff are working to be as proactive as possible so that once final guidance and the funds are received, the City will be positioned to rapidly implement the approved CDBG activities as quickly as possible,” stated a media release sent out by the Development Department on Wednesday night.
According to the tentative plan, there are two tentative activities/programs being proposed:
- Small Business Recover Grant – This program is designed to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19to adapt to the new state and federal requirements imposed for the protection and safety of employees, customers and the general public. Funding will be flexible in nature and must be used in response to enabling business viability as a result of financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic Must have employed 5 full time employees less than fifty (50) total employees. MORE INFO
- Rental Assistance Program – This program is designed to benefit low to moderate income households impacted by COVID-19 who are not already receiving rental assistance from other agencies, such as Department of Social Services, Section 8 Housing Choice, STEL, Evergreen Health Services, Veterans Affairs, Housing Options Made Easy (HOME), etc. Landlord and tenant must sign a City of Jamestown Property Maintenance Agreement. MORE INFO
The plan can also be obtained by contacting the Department of Development at 716-483-7542.
Because of ongoing NYS Public Health State of Emergency, in-person public hearings are not possible at this time. However, the public is encouraged to submit comments, in writing, to the Department of Development, Third Floor, Municipal Building, 200 East Third Street, Jamestown, New York, 14701, or emailed to DOD@CityofJamestownNY.com no later than 5 p.m. Monday, May 18, 2020.
The Jamestown City Council and the subsequent submission of the Amendment to the City’s Annual Action Plan application to HUD will consider all comments received prior to the formal authorization of the amendment.