DUNKIRK – Plans for allocating Community Development Block Grant funds in the City of Dunkirk were unveiled Wednesday at a meeting of the Economic Development Committee held in the Stearns Building.
A one-year and a five-year plan have been compiled by the city’s planning office. Both are available for viewing on the city’s website. Public comments are being accepted about the spending plans that are funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for communities with low income and disadvantaged citizens.
The city was criticized for its handling of the federal funds in an audit last year. Part of the plan of correction was to make the budget more available to the public and to target specific areas in the city for improvement. The total budget is $459,815.
City Planning Director Steve Neratko said he was advised that it is best to target certain neighborhoods for improvement.
The one-year plan calls for improvements to homes in the Washington Park area. The city will focus on owner-occupied homes rather than rental homes. Neratko said the planning department will encourage homeowners to apply for funds for major projects such as new roofs or furnaces.
Housing improvements were budgeted at $100,000.
Public facilities and infrastructure are listed in the budget for $109,815. A major portion of this funding will go toward repaving and drainage on Plover Street.
Economic development areas will be targeted to receive $75,000 in federal funds. The city also expects to receive income from an economic development revolving loan. The projected income for the next year is $20,000.
Demolition of homes that have fallen into disrepair or severely damaged by fire is targeted to receive $50,000 in the funding program.
Code enforcement is scheduled to receive $25,000 for the next year.
A contribution of $10,000 toward the Meals on Wheels program is also listed in the budget.
Administration costs for managing the funds were listed at $90,000. Public comments about the spending plan can be submitted via the city’s website or to the planning office until July 25.
City council members are expected to act on the budget at the next regular session on Tuesday.
In another matter at the Economic Development Committee meeting, it was announced that concerts that have been canceled this year because of rain are being rescheduled. Makeup dates are expected in early September.
The committee asked Neratko to plan a meeting with tenants who rent spaces on the city’s boardwalk. Rental agreements and other issues will be discussed.