WILMINGTON — Judging from the turnout Wednesday, there is a good deal of local interest in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for Fiscal Year 2016.
A public hearing held Wednesday morning at the Clinton County Commissioners Office drew a total of 14 people, not counting commissioners. Amy Schocken with Community Development Consultants of Ohio gave the attendees from local governments an overview of activities eligible for the federally funded CDBG grants.
In terms of past performance, CDBG funds recently have been spent locally on storm sewer, sidewalk, street and park improvements in Blanchester, sidewalks in Port William, and park improvements in Wilmington and Martinsville.
This year, for projects already awarded CDBG funds, the County will complete sidewalk, storm sewer and park projects in Midland, demolition and park improvements in Wilmington, and drainage improvements in Sabina, said Schocken.
Looking ahead, Clinton County can apply for up to three projects using the $115,000 it can count on receiving this funding cycle. In addition to those assured dollars, there are competitive grants, too, Schocken said.
One difference for this fiscal year compared to the three prior years, said Schocken, is that Clinton County commissioners are not required to do a project in Wilmington.
Schocken has encouraged Village of Sabina officials to apply for a competitive CDBG grant called the Neighborhood Revitalization Grant. On Wednesday, she suggested commissioners show support for Sabina’s pursuit of this competitive grant money by having Sabina picked to get part of the noncompetitive funds the county is assured of receiving.
Such a show of support and collaboration improve the chances of Sabina being awarded up to $500,000 in the competitive Neighborhood Revitalization Grant, according to Schocken.
Neighborhood Revitalization Grants typically fund two to four public facilities projects in a community that benefit the entire village, she told Sabina Village Council in early February.
Proposed Sabina projects that are eligible include finishing the cleanup of Wilson Creek, storm drainage improvements, building(s) demolition, and the addition of an elevator lift at the municipal building.
Sabina Mayor Dean Hawk was present for the Wednesday public hearing in the county courthouse, as were officials from other municipalities in Clinton County.
A second public hearing regarding Clinton County’s FY 2016 CDBG grant applications will be scheduled for early June. Notice of the public hearing will be published in the Wilmington News Journal.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.