WAYNE COUNTY—Some projects in Wayne County will receive less than requested, and others nothing at all, from the 2018 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
The Wayne County Commissioners met with the county Redevelopment Authority last Thursday for a second public hearing regarding the 2018 CDBG allocations, making tough decisions about which projects would receive funding from the recently downgraded program.
Funding to the federal CDGB program was reduced for this year's grant cycle, constricting project disbursements.
Wayne County's grant award was approved to be, in total, $209,258.
“The allocation that we received this year was about 46 percent of the ask,” explained Commissioner Wendell Kay. “So less than 50 percent of the amount that was asked for was actually given us in terms of funding.”
The county initially requested $448,942 in 2018 CDBG funding.
With its allocation the county approved three of its six requested projects to be submitted for 2018 funding.
The commissioners approved $40,000 to be allocated for the addition of a generator and bathroom improvements including showers to establish an emergency shelter at the Seelyville Fire Company in Texas Township.
The initial ask for this project was $50,000.
Expected to be funded in full, the commissioners approved $94,942 to go towards road improvements on Paupack Street in Hawley Borough.
These improvements are the lesser of two proposals and will not include the addition of clean box culvert.
The final project approved for funding application received $74,316 and consists of road improvements to Erk Road in Dyberry Township.
The initial ask for this project was $100,000.
This project also received funds in 2014 and 2016, totaling $135,187.
Projects in Starrucca Borough, Mount Pleasant Township and Clinton Township, totaling $204,000 were not funded.
According to the Wayne County Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Robbin Morgan, application surveys are eligible for up to five years, meaning those projects could reapply in subsequent years for another chance at funding.
Commissioner Chairman Brian Smith stated at the hearing, “If we did not fund these other projects at at least the level that we did fund them, nobody gets a project done...Unfortunately, there's not enough money to go around and this is the way we're gonna do it this year.”
Smith explained the three projects chosen for funding are of top priority for the county and the ones which they feel have the best shot of attaining final CDBG approval.
Commissioner Joseph Adams further noted that, the three projects are the most in spirit with the CDBG program as they are located in areas of the county with the highest percentages of lower income residents.