CITY HALL — Federal grants could cover rental subsidies, traffic circles, and building repairs in the city by the sea next fiscal year.

City Hall’s action plan addresses the areas in which $1.7 million will be spent on the community from July through June of 2015.

The 2014-15 Action Plan released earlier this month is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for any municipal governments receiving specific federal grants.

City officials anticipate that $560,272 worth of grant money would provide rental subsidies to 25 families of senior or disabled homeless persons, victims of domestic violence, and persons at risk of homelessness.

Another $366,943 would cover four traffic circles along the Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway, a proposed pedestrian thoroughfare  connecting the east and west sides of the city. This cash will also be used to cover intersection improvements, wayfinding, and landscaping.

These particular street improvements will be completed along Michigan at 17th Street, which city officials identify as a low or moderate income area.

The changes encourage increased pedestrian use and more accessible usage by people with disabilities.

Twenty apartments owned or occupied by low-income residents will be repaired by City Hall at a cost of $300,000.

About 240 homeless people will get a variety of services from City Hall through four grant-funded programs totaling more than $160,000. Services include job training and counseling.

The economic downtown and the 2012 dissolution of the redevelopment agency — which invested nearly $300 million in the community over the past decade — are City Hall’s top obstacles for meeting the needs of the underserved populations in the city, according to the action plan.

This fiscal year, 2013-14, City Hall had more than $2.5 million in federal grants to spend. The big ticket item was the $700,000- rehabilitation of public bathrooms in Hotchkiss and Marine parks, making them accessible to people with disabilities. They had planned to spend another $510,000 on the rehab of low-income housing units.

The decrease in funding from this fiscal year to next fiscal year will mean cuts to public service activities that address and prevent homelessness.

City Council will discuss the action plan at its upcoming meeting on Tuesday. Residents are invited to weigh in on the plan.

 

dave@smdp.com

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