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Last year, the city’s CDBG program, was given a healthy slap on the wrist when it was audited by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees the allocation of the grants. Mayor Jerry Sanders put together a task force to work out how to deal with the issue and that task force has been coming up with possible solutions to fix the program, which city officials admit is in a bit of a mess.
Well, the City Council just approved that task force’s recommendations, and I’ve learned the details of what those recommendations are. When I wrote about the issue two weeks ago, the details from city officials were scant about how they were going to address HUD’s concerns.
Here’s a run down of the main changes coming down the pipeline, from the Mayor’s Office:
- No allocation of CDBG funds will be made to a project for which a CDBG application has not been received by the City.
- No allocation of CDBG funds will be made to a project of less than $25,000, unless funding at a lesser amount is necessary to complete a project.
- All CDBG applicants shall attend mandatory workshops hosted by City staff during the annual CDBG application period.
- All CDBG funds allocated to projects shall be used within three years of the date of the allocation, or such funds are subject to being reprogrammed by the City Council.
On another note, City Attorney Mike Aguirre put out his own memo to the mayor and City Council a couple of days ago. I just got a copy. The memo essentially points out what Aguirre’s office thinks are the most serious issues concerning the city’s CDBG program.