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Archive for Saturday, January 8, 1994

CITY TO PONDER FUND REQUESTS

January 8, 1994

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Neighborhoods and service groups held the line requesting some of this year's $1.2 million in community development funds.

Margene Swarts says local groups are taking the conservative approach this year in using public money for improving facilities and services.

The city received only $1.4 million in requests for federal Community Development Block Grant funds, a 3 percent increase from last year.

Meanwhile, the city expects to have 9 percent more money this year for helping improve low- to moderate-income neighborhoods, using an estimated $1.2 million from the federal department of Housing and Urban Development.

"In some ways I'm a little surprised that we didn't have more requests," said Swarts, the city's CDBG program manager. "I can only assume that people are only asking for what they need."

The proposed projects -- repaving alleys, building new sidewalks and financing a women's shelter, among others -- will be up for review beginning next week, when the CDBG Advisory Committee meets Thursday at city hall.

Each week through Feb. 17, committee members will interview representatives from each of the two dozen groups that applied for CDBG funds.

The committee will forward a final list of recommendations to the Lawrence City Commission sometime in May.

"It's a tough job," said Commissioner Bob Moody, a former chair of the CDBG committee.

Here a rundown of requests for five target neighborhoods, which qualify for CDBG funds under federal requirements:

  • Pinckney Neighborhood Assn.: $64,824, for sidewalks, administrative expenses and lights in Constant Park and playground equipment in Clinton Park. Last year, the group won approval of $26,195 through CDBG.
  • East Lawrence Improvement Assn.: $46,259, for new sidewalks, neighborhood clean-ups, trash racks, plantings in Hobbs Park, youth employment and administrative costs. Last year's allocation was $27,406.
  • Oread Neighborhood Assn.: $22,850, for sidewalk renovations, clean-ups, tree plantings, dumpster pads and screening and administrative expenses. The city approved $18,865 last year.
  • North Lawrence Improvement Assn.: $9,310, for culvert replacement, volunteer services and replacing brick sidewalks. Last year the group received $15,230.
  • Brook Creek Neighborhood Assn.: $2,000 for new culverts, plus an unspecified amount for a newsletter. Last year's projects received $11,700.

Several social-service agencies also are requesting CDBG funds. They include:

  • Women's Transitional Care Inc.: $15,000 for shelter operations.
  • Salvation Army: $87,070 for expenses, staff, a new van and building repairs.
  • Lawrence Housing Authority: $5,500 for security lighting at Edgewood Homes.
  • Douglas County AIDS Project: $8,000 for pharmaceutical and medical expenses.

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