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November 26, 2013

Clawson establishes public hearing date for block grant

By Robert Guttersohn
C & G Staff Writer

CLAWSON — Last week, the City Council approved a public hearing for Dec. 3 to hear residents’ opinions on how the city should use its Community Development Block Grant money next year.

“At the public hearing, it will be an opportunity for anyone to make a comment or a suggestion on how to use that money,” said Mayor Penny Luebs during the Nov. 19 City Council meeting.

Through Oakland County, cities annually receive a certain amount of CDBG funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The amount is based on the number of low-income residents living within the community.

Clawson anticipates receiving about $38,000 from the federal government, said City Manager Mark Pollock.

Luebs said the money may be used in areas within Clawson defined by Oakland County as low- to moderate-income.

“Last year, we dedicated the money for playground equipment in Parkland Park,” Luebs said.

Pollock said the city has used the money on a wide range of things, like audio books for the blind, repairing fire hydrants in low-income areas and toward the city’s senior center.

They have also used it to install sidewalks that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Pollock said the list of places where they can use the money is shrinking.

“We’re a little more limited now because our low- to moderate-income area is very narrow,” Pollock said. “It used to include the entire City Park, and now it includes an area south of 14 Mile Road, which includes Parkland Park.”

Leading up to the public hearing, he said the city is researching the current limitations on the money’s uses.

“We’re trying to be as creative as we can and put the money where it will most benefit the community,” Pollock said.