Columbia’s Community Development Commission picked 11 projects totaling $733,000 to recommend to the Columbia City Council for federal grant allocation.
The commission annually sifts through projects requesting Community Development Block Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money is for public improvement projects and housing and community facilities in low- to mid-income neighborhoods.
Here are the recommendations made by the commission for 2008:
- Boone County Council on Aging: $35,000 to repair the homes of low-income seniors.
- Services for Independent Living: $30,000 to build access ramps.
- Columbia Housing Authority Low-Income Services: $12,000 to fund “MoneySmart,” a financial education program.
- Nora Stewart Memorial Nursery School: $150,000 to renovate the building’s roof, air-conditioning system and bathroom.
- Destiny of H.O.P.E.: $14,000 to fund salaries for a director and assistant director of the housing counseling programs.
- Department of Planning: $120,000 for housing rehabilitation, demolition, code enforcement and repair programs.
- Department of Public Works: $347,000 for street improvements on Hunt Avenue.
- Department of Planning: $129,000 for administrative costs.
Six local nonprofit organizations and three city agencies submitted proposals that would use a portion of $862,000 in grants for fiscal 2008.
Commission member Elizabeth Holden said block grants are one of the few sources of funding for salaries and administrative costs available to nonprofit organizations.
Tom Lata, Community Development Commission staff coordinator, said this year the proposed projects totaled about 22 percent more than the block grant funds available for allocation, so not all requests would receive funding.
The exact amount of available CDBG funds depends on HUD and congressional appropriations and will be finalized in January or February, Lata said.
The City Council will consider the commission’s recommendations during the approval process of next year’s budget.