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City of Palmetto Seeks CDBG Grants


PALMETTO -- At Monday's Palmetto City Commission meeting, Vice President of Guardian Community Resource Management, Inc. Corbett Alday, presented members at the first public hearing in the process of applying for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). 

Alday outlined the types of CDBG grants available in the Regular Category: Housing Rehabilitation; Neighborhood Revitalization; and Commercial Revitalization. Alday also reviewed the one grant available in the Economic Development Category. 

Any of the three in the regular category can be applied for each year; but no two can coincide within that calendar year, although a Regular Category grant and one of the Economic Development Category grants can concur at the same time. Regular Category grants have a $750,000 annual limit; Economic Development grants can exceed that amount.

Regular Category CDBG grant funds are used to aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight, community development and/or emergencies and must benefit low-moderate-income (LMI) households. LMI households are defined by HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development).

Economic Development grant funds are supplied for the building of infrastructure necessary to attract new businesses or retain expanding businesses. With these grants, job creation is required and at least 51 percent of the jobs created must be available to persons of LMI income households.

The federal government supplies the funds and the state develops the rules as to how local governments compete for those development dollars. The grants are available to cities of less than 50,000 in population and for counties of less than 200,000 in population.

Over recent years, these grants have become increasingly popular, and therefore more competitive. Often, it takes a community two or three application attempts before one is approved. 

The second public hearing of the two required in the process, will provide public input and review the draft application before it is submitted to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FDEO)

The CDBG funding the City of Palmetto is seeking is for the area not covered by the City of Palmetto's interim CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency). CRAs can independently apply for CDBG funding, as well as other interim governments. 

Palmetto Commissioners approved the application for a street drainage project back in September of 2012, but fell just short of the cut-off time for FDEO approval. Monday's approval by the commission is another attempt for CDBG funding for that project.

The ward one, phase two project completed by the City of Palmetto was partially funded by CDBG funds; Palmetto's CRA also contributed to the project.


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