COLUMBIA — Local applicants have received recommendations from the city that could help them with funding for programs that may benefit the community.
The Columbia Community Development Commission met on Thursday to make recommendations for federal Community Development Block Grants. The city has $1.2 million to work with; that includes $246,456 left over from the fiscal 2010 fund. CDBG money comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The eligible 2011 community facilities, services, and economic development applicants are:
- Activity: Facility Acquisition. Centro Latino applied for funds to acquire the building at 609 Garth. According to their June 2 proposal, it is prepared to begin remodeling the inside for a community-style diner with cooking courses, medical services and obesity prevention programs. It chose the building's location because it is in the heart of the population it hopes to work with.
- Requested: $145,000
- Commission recommendation: $138,000
- Activity: Bear Creek Head Start
- Requested: $90,000
- Commission recommendation: $77,000 (From the reprogrammed money from 2010)
Disabilities Media Inc.
- Activity: Fair Housing Education. Disabilities Media has a contract with the city to provide information to people with disabilities. According to its June 2 proposal, it wants to help people find resources for things such as getting ramps and accessible features installed at their homes.
- Requested $25,000
- Commission recommendation: $0
- Commission members expressed concerns about the stability of the plan. However, they said the city has a strong relationship with Disabilities Media. Director Homer Page and said the city wants to continue working with him and will reconsider his proposal in the future.
- Activity: Micro-Enterprise Program. The program is a Small Business Administration lender and provides ongoing assistance to the borrowers.
- Requested: $18,750
- Commission recommendation: $0
- Commissioner O.U. Ukoha said in a June 2 meeting that he was disappointed in the program and the small amount of loans it was able to make. Enterprise Development Corp. had appeared before the commission before and received $12,000 in city funding in 2005.
- Activity: Landlord-tenant Counseling. The program is new and seeks to offer tenants information and assistance with legal representation.
- Requested: $6,000
- Commission recommendation: $6,000 (From the reprogrammed 2010 fund)
Eligible 2011 housing applicants
- The commission recommended a total of $312,044 in 2011 CDBG money and $79,000 from the reprogrammed 2010 fund for various housing programs.
Eligible 2011 public improvement applicants
- The commission recommended a total of $326,956 in 2011 CDBG money and $73,000 from the reprogrammed 2010 fund for various public improvements.
The commission's recommendations will be considered by the City Council as part of the total city budget for fiscal 2011, which begins Oct. 1. The council will hold public hearings on the budget in August and September.
All funds for the 2010 reprogrammed money are tentatively scheduled to be budgeted by early August.