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City set to decide spending of $1.8 million in federal funds

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The Lawrence City Commission at its Tuesday evening meeting will decide how to spend $1.8 million.

No, you have not missed news of a new tax or a winning lottery ticket at City Hall. Instead, it is the city’s annual share of a pair of federal grants.

Each year the city receives Community Development Block Grant funding and HOME funding. Both are designed to make housing or neighborhood improvements in a community.

The money funds the operations of several of Lawrence’s neighborhood associations, and several other projects. This year, the total for the two grants is $1,853,728, which is up $79,275 from last year.

Here’s a look at how a city advisory board is recommending the money be spent in 2009:

  • Brook Creek Neighborhood Association operations: $6,115, up $489 from 2009.
  • East Lawrence Neighborhood Association operations: $11,200, up $4,989 from 2009. The association in its application to the city had proposed an increase in funding for its neighborhood coordinator.
  • North Lawrence Improvement Association operations: $4,300, up $130.
  • North Lawrence Improvement Association neighborhood cleanup project: $1,800. Not funded in 2008.
  • Oread Neighborhood Association operations: $10,520, up $619.
  • Pinckney Neighborhood Association operations: $2,734, down $106.
  • The Ballard Community Center for its emergency services council: $7,829. Not funded in 2008.
  • Douglas County AIDS Project emergency assistance program: $3,925, down $75.
  • Housing and Credit Counseling Inc. for tenant-landlord counseling services: $25,000. No change from 2008.
  • Lawrence Community Shelter operational funding: $36,500, up $13,500. The shelter is receiving more money after The Salvation Army announced it will close its overnight shelter in June.
  • The Salvation Army meal program: $11,250. This is $17,750 less than the 2008 amount, but last year’s amount also included money to operate an overnight shelter.
  • The city’s Community Development Division’s comprehensive housing rehabilitation program: $395,248, down $4,752.
  • The city’s first-time homebuyers rehabilitation program: $100,000. No change from 2008.
  • The city’s home weatherization program: $40,000. No change from 2008.
  • The city’s loan program for emergency furnace replacements: $35,000. No change from 2008.
  • The Lawrence Public Works Department’s program to fill in sidewalk gaps: $226,178, up $18,678.
  • Oread Neighborhood Association for a water meter installation at the neighborhood’s community garden: $1,260. Not funded in 2008.
  • A group home roof repair for Community Living Opportunities: $36,000. Not funded in 2008.
  • Independence Inc.’s accessible housing program: $33,000, up $3,000.
  • Exterior lighting for Van Go Mobile Arts: $8,400. Not funded in 2008.
  • City costs to administer the various CDBG programs: $161,564, up $1,900.
  • The Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority’s tenant-based rental assistance program: $299,421, up $29,421.
  • Administration expenses for housing authority’s rental assistance program: $29,590, up $6,977.
  • Funding for the Lawrence Community Housing Trust affordable housing program: $104,385, up $4,385.
  • Operational funding for the affordable housing program: $34,795, up $3,489.
  • Funding for the city’s first-time homebuyer program: $187,714, up $25,500.
  • City administration costs for the various HOME programs: $40,000.

City commissioners will take public comment on the proposed spending plan. Commissioners meet at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets.

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