City expects repeat of 2012 funding for 2013 CDBG program

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published March 20, 2013

GROSSE POINTE CITY — To paraphrase a famous Yogi Berra quote, it was déjà vu all over again when City officials learned what their proposed community development block grant funding was going to look like in the 2013 fiscal year.

“The proposed allocations are exactly the same as they were last year for us,” City Manager Pete Dame told the City Council during a meeting Feb. 25.

Although Dame said the numbers they had at press time hadn’t been finalized and were subject to federal and Wayne County approval, the City anticipates receiving $30,000 this year for pedestrian sidewalk ramp improvements to make them more accessible according to Americans with Disabilities Act standards: $8,000 for public service programs through Services for Older Citizens and $30,000 for SOC’s minor home-repair program, which falls under the housing rehabilitation category.

The City also expects to receive $5,000 to cover some of the costs associated with administering these projects, for a total of $73,000 again this year in CDBG funds. The money comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is channeled through the Wayne County CDBG Program. Funding dropped dramatically last year; before 2012, the City had been getting nearly $90,000 annually from the program.

Dame said the City hadn’t used its funds for pedestrian ramps from last year because they hoped to combine two years’ worth of CDBG dollars to pool into a larger, more cost-efficient project.

In addition, “We hope to bid it all together” with other Grosse Pointes to trim engineering fees, Dame said.

City Council member Andrew Turnbull asked if “there was any time limit” on how quickly the funds had to be used. Dame said there is.

“The maximum (carryover) is two years,” Mayor Dale Scrace explained.

With help from CDBG money, the City has been able to create updated accessible pedestrian ramps for about half of the intersections in the community, Dame said.

The council voted unanimously in favor of the allocations. The projects were slated to be submitted to Wayne County for authorization, officials said.