Hiring contractors to take care of the yards of those in the community with low and fixed incomes is an ongoing project made possible in Troy by CDBG funds.

Hiring contractors to take care of the yards of those in the community with low and fixed incomes is an ongoing project made possible in Troy by CDBG funds.

Photo provided by Cindy Stewart

Grant funds to support yard assistance, inclusive park in Troy

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published February 9, 2023


TROY — The city of Troy announced its Community Development Block Grant fund distributions for 2023 after the City Council unanimously approved them at their regular meeting Jan. 23.

This year’s funds will go toward the same two projects as last year, the Yard Assistance Program and the All-Inclusive Park.

“I am proud that we continue to use the maximum allowable CDBG funds for our Yard Assistance Program, providing services to our seniors who need the extra help,” said Troy Mayor Ethan Baker. “The funds allocated for our new All-Inclusive Park are monies well spent, as the city of Troy prides itself on being welcoming and inclusive across all levels.”

The CDBG funds for Troy total $182,204. The All-Inclusive Park received 70% of these funds, $127,543.50, and the Yard Assistance Program received the remaining 30%, or $54,661.50.

“Our CDBG funds, 70% have to go to a project approved by the county; 30% can go to community service projects,” explained Troy Community Affairs Director Cindy Stewart. “We have always done a yard assistance program for low-income seniors with our 30% portion. We’ve been doing that for 25 years. We hire contractors to do it. A low bid contractor gets the work. … With our 70% portion, we’ve done several projects in the past. We’ve done water mains and sidewalks. Last year we applied for the all-inclusive park on Long Lake where the city owns some land.”

Stewart said that the amount the city received for 2023 was similar to amounts from previous years.

While the funds for the Yard Assistance Program will continue an ongoing program, the funds for the All-Inclusive Park will allow the project to move on to its next steps.

“Last year was to begin the park. This year’s funds will be for phase two, which will allow us to install a handicapped accessible restroom. It’s being done in phases as funds become available. Phase one was a playground and the parking lot.”

Stewart said that construction on the All-Inclusive Park will likely begin this summer, but there have been many administrative hurdles that city officials have needed to address before work on the site could begin in earnest.

The park will be located at 450 Long Lake Road, between Rochester Road and Livernois Road.

“Construction hasn’t begun yet, and we are still waiting for an environmental (report) for the All-Inclusive Park,” she said. “If they can get that done between now and spring, we are hoping by summer to start construction. There’s a lot of red tape with CDBG funds. We even had to have an archeological examination done.”

Baker said he and the rest of the City Council approved the use of the CDBG funds for these two projects because they directly benefit residents of Troy.

“The city’s policy of using the maximum allowable percentage of CDBG funds for the Yard Assistance Program — formerly ‘Home Chore’ — is sound policy and continues to provide a much-appreciated and necessary service to many of our seniors,” said the mayor. “I am thankful that the city administration has proposed the All-Inclusive Park in Section 9 and that they are using CDBG funds to do so. I think it is a creative and impactful way to use the CDBG monies. The city of Troy receives far less CDBG funds than other municipalities, and I foresee no changes to our current use of the funds.”

Baker later elaborated, saying that Troy receives less money than other communities because it has fewer areas of the city that meet the threshold for being lower income than other communities. He added that very few sections of Troy qualify for CDBG fund distributions based on the formula used for those distributions.

He said that being able to support such additional projects or groups is exactly why CDBG funds exist.

“Caring for our seniors and building an all-inclusive park are two very noble and necessary programs and projects for our city,” remarked Baker. “I am proud of these plans and am thankful our city administration is so enthusiastically promoting them.”