No Block Grant allocation for county this year

(Posted Feb. 9, 2017)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Madison County will not receive a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) allocation this year. The state is transitioning from distributing funds once a year to once every other year.

CDBG funds are federal dollars administered by the state for local infrastructure projects that benefit low- to moderate-income areas. Madison County projects have included bridge and road repairs, flood control measures, sewer upgrades, and park improvements, among others.

With the distribution change, communities will receive larger sums biennially, allowing them to complete bigger projects that have greater impact, said Whitaker Wright of CDC of Ohio, the firm hired by the county to administer its CDBG grants.

Many communities were already deferring their annual allocations so they could double up their funds and do larger projects, Wright said. The change also means fewer applications to process.

In recent years, Madison County’s annual CDBG allocation has been $120,000. Wright said he hopes to see that number doubled next year when Madison County gets its first biennial allocation. No entity will get less than $150,000, he said.

Half of the state is getting its allocation this year; the other half, next year. While Madison County was slotted in the second half, Wright said the delay comes with advantages. Plain City, London, and South Solon leaders will have time to complete required income surveys to determine their low- and moderate-income areas. Also, County Engineer Bryan Dhume will have time to research possible bridge project options, Wright said.

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