Supervisors Hear Public Input and Ideas for Using State Grant Funds

Community & Economic Development Manager Esperanza Colio gives a presentation regarding the CDBG Program during the Board of Supervisors’ meeting Tuesday.

EL CENTRO – The Imperial County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing during Tuesday’s regular board meeting to receive public input on potential activities and projects for the upcoming funding applications under the State’s 2016-2017 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program.

Every year the California Housing and Community Development (HCD), through its Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), makes grant funds available through different allocations to provide a wide range of possible activities for community development needs. According to the CDBG Grant Management Manual, a public design hearing is required to be eligible for grant funding.

According to Community & Economic Development Manager Esperanza Colio Warren, it is estimated that in 2016-2017, up to $2 million will be available in the State’s CDBG Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) per jurisdiction and $1,350,000 for Colonias allocations.

Projects funded with CDBG allocations must meet one or more of the three national objectives, as follows: to benefit low income households or persons, to eliminate slums and blight, or to meet urgent community development needs.

“We are looking for shovel-ready projects,” stated Colio.

The purpose of the public hearing is to give Imperial County residents an opportunity to make their comments known regarding what types of eligible activities the County should apply for under the State CDBG Program.

During the hearing, the board was presented with two projects: one from the Salton Community Services District and one from the Catholic Charities.

“We are looking to replace and upgrade equipment, a new engine and its equivalent, to replace two retired and service a type 1 engine (type 1 engines are used primarily for structural firefighting),” said Forrest Kerr, vice chairman, Salton Community Services District.

Additionally, a representative from the Catholic Charities said kitchen equipment was desperately in need of replacement being that it was very old.

In an effort to provide additional time, a second public hearing will be held on Tuesday, April 12, at 10:45 a.m.