By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Members of the public and Community Development Block Grant organizations will have a chance to speak about funding recommendations April 16 during a public meeting.
Stephanie Carr, CDBG administrator for the city of Enid, said she is anticipating a decrease in funding for the program from the federal government.
“We estimate about a 5 percent decrease this year, but it could be more,” said Stephanie Carr, CDBG administrator. “We have to move forward even without the federal budget information.”
The public meeting will be 6:30 p.m. April 16 in city commission chambers at the city administration building, 401 W. Garriott. The public meeting will be held in conjunction with the city commission meeting. Recommendations will be presented to the city commission for approval.
The city’s CDBG funding has been cut more than 40 percent over the past three years. In 2012, the city received $405,210, compared to $518,812 in 2011.
Officials based their allocations on receiving $384,949.50 this year.
Of the total, $147,618.80 must go to the Section 108 payment, which is paying the loan the city took out to purchase the old Phillips University campus, now Northern Oklahoma College Enid.
Another $70,000 is for administration of the CDBG program, leaving $167,330.70 to be allocated.
If cuts in the CDBG program are deeper than 5 percent, the funding committee has determined to make across-the-board cuts to every agency funded, Carr said.
Nine organizations requested funding for 15 projects. Total requests for funding were $772,037.72. Once the Section 108 loan and administrative costs were taken out, organization requests were $554,418.92.
City commissioners will determine the final allocations based on the recommendations of the CDBG staff and the funding committee.
The city of Enid requested $105,650 for three projects: $50,000 for the code enforcement office for demolition; $20,000 for Enid Public Transportation Authority for the bus pass program; and $55,650 for EPTA for a bus shelter.
CDBG staff recommended $25,000 for the code enforcement office and $8,000 for the EPTA bus pass program. The funding committee recommended $20,000 for the code enforcement office and $8,000 for the EPTA bus pass program. No funding was recommended for the EPTA bus shelter.
Community Development Support Association requested $73,000 for its emergency housing repairs program and $40,000 for this HOME Delivery program.
CDBG staff recommended $50,000 for CDSA home repairs and $20,000 for the HOME Delivery program. The funding committee recommended $40,000 for home repairs and $20,000 for the HOME Delivery program.
Booker T. Washington Community Center requested $40,00 for three programs: $30,000 for the after-school program and $5,000 each for its summer and mentoring programs. Both CDBG staff and the funding committee recommended $15,000 for the after-school program. Neither recommended funding for the other BTW programs.
4RKids Foundation requested $38,587 for the Miracle League field, while CDBG staff and the funding committee recommended $26,330.70.
Sandbox Learning Center requested $23,983 for HVAC/electrical work and $18,293.99 for its playground. CDBG staff and the funding committee recommended $15,000 for the HVAC/electrical work and did not recommend funding the playground.
Agnes House requested $16,654.93 for HVAC/roof/windows. CDBG staff recommended $8,000, and the funding committee recommended $3,000.
Leonardo’s Discovery Warehouse requested $100,000 for restroom rehabilitation. CDBG staff recommended no funding, but the funding committee requested $20,000.
Other organizations requesting funding but which were not recommended for money were Leona Mitchell Southern Heights Heritage Center and Museum, $50,000, for neighborhood cleanup; and Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, $28,250, for water line extension.
Copies of the CDBG funding plan are available for review at:
• City of Enid, Office of Community Development, 401 W. Garriott.
• City of Enid website, www.enid.org.
• Public Library of Enid and Garfield County, 120 W. Maine.
• CDSA, 2615 E. Randolph.
• Booker T. Washington Community Center, 800 S. 5th.
• Carver Education Center, 815 S. 5th.
• Southern Heights Community Organization, 451 E. State.
Final approval of the spending plan will be made by the city commission May 7. Questions, comments or suggestions will be accepted until the time of final approval. Written comments will be considered for incorporation into the final submission of the plan to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees CDBG funds. The plan must be submitted to HUD by May 15.
Last year’s funding raised some questions, as the city commission voted 5-2 to fill a Junior Welfare League request, while leaving YWCA and Booker T. Washington Community Center projects unfunded. The vote went against the CDBG funding committee recommendation. The Junior Welfare League did not apply this year.