Archive for Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Groups across city cross fingers for stimulus funds

February 11, 2009


The federal stimulus package may provide an extra $300,000 to $400,000 for a city grant program that gives funds to organizations that serve low- to moderate-income citizens.

Margene Swarts, assistant director of planning and development services for the city, said staff members are keeping their fingers crossed that funding for the Community Development Block Grant program and the HOME fund program receive additional federal dollars. Without the boost, several local social service agencies seeking funding under the program won’t be fully funded.

“What we have now is not very much money to go around to try to meet the needs that are there,” Swarts said.

Absent the stimulus package, the city is expecting to receive no increase in funding over last year’s federal allocation. That would mean a total of $1.14 million in CDBG funding and $626,000 in HOME funds. The city receives the money each year as part of a federal formula designed to provide funding to cities with significant numbers of low- to moderate-income people.

The federal regulations limit the city to spending no more than 15 percent of the CDBG funds on operational expenses of social service agencies.

Here’s a look at some of the groups that have requested funding:

• $6,115 to the Brook Creek Neighborhood Association for operating expenses.

• $11,516 to the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association for operating and communication expenses.

• $6,100 to the North Lawrence Improvement Association for operating expenses.

• $10,520 to the Oread Neighborhood Association for operating expenses, and $1,260 to install a water meter in a community garden.

• $2,734 to the Pinckney Neighborhood Association for operating expenses.

• $20,000 to the Ballard Community Center for its Emergency Services Council.

• $4,000 to the Douglas County AIDS Project for its Emergency Assistance Program.

• $25,000 to Housing and Credit Counseling Inc. for landlord-tenant counseling programs.

• $36,500 to the Lawrence Community Shelter for homeless shelter operations.

• $42,465 to The Salvation Army for its emergency shelter and feeding program.

• $36,000 to Community Living Opportunities for a roof repair.

• $220,000 to the city’s Public Works Department for sidewalk repair and replacement.

• $33,000 to Independence Inc. for its accessible housing program.

• $8,400 to Van Go Mobile Arts Inc. for exterior lighting of its building.

• $300,000 to the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority for its homeless transitional housing program.

• $135,000 to the Tenants to Homeowners organization for its affordable housing program.

• $590,000 to the Community Development Division of the city for various home rehabilitation and energy efficiency programs.

• $300,000 to the Lawrence Community Land Trust for its first-time homebuyers program.

• $198,000 to cover the city’s cost to administer the CDBG and HOME programs.

City commissioners are expected to receive final recommendations from the Community Development Advisory Committee in early May.


jmadison 9 years, 4 months ago

Why don't the members of the Oread Neighborhood Association come together as a community and spring for the $1260 needed for the water meter rather than depend upon the taxpayers to fund this item?

rubyslipper 9 years, 4 months ago

With the election under way for City Commission I think everyone in the Lawrence community needs to really look at what the candidates stand for. The city commission does get criticized a lot and we now have a chance to get qualified people into the positions. We should all look and see who has the best plan for Lawrence. I've done my research and I really think Lance Johnson has his head on his shoulders. He realizes the way to make Lawrence a thriving community is to focus on growing jobs. This will help with taxes as well as property value. He has a great website that you all should check out.We all have a duty to go out and vote and really look at what the candidates stand for. Have you done your research?

james bush 9 years, 4 months ago

Does the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) operate in Lawrence? Stimulation of the ECONOMY seems to cover anything/everything!

james bush 9 years, 4 months ago

About ACORN...........I see only Topeka, K C and Wichita have offices. I guess they'll have to share the democratic largess with groups in Lawrence.

CLARKKENT 9 years, 4 months ago


BorderRat 9 years, 4 months ago

Don't any of the Neighborhood Associations collect dues? Seems like they all want a cut for "operating expenses." I really like the one for the water meter for a community garden.

newshound25 9 years, 4 months ago

We need someone on the city commission who can look at the big picture and grow Lawrence in a positive direction and help all neighborhoods improve. I think Lance Johnson's background in engineering can only help improve the town's infrastructure making neighborhoods stronger. Voters really need to take a look at this candidate.

cowboy 9 years, 4 months ago

Cut out all funding for all neighborhood associations , why do they get money ? Can anyone tell us ?

gl0ck0wn3r 9 years, 4 months ago

Can someone explain to me how any of these projects are supposed to stimulate the local economy and create jobs? At best this is a laundry list of the same old programs that are always seeking funding. Seriously... neighborhood associations? Why not throw in $10,000 to fund Merrill's cut and paste training program?

Confrontation 9 years, 4 months ago

As long as it's not going to the Humane Society, then I'm fine with it.

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