Charleston approves measure to spend grant dollars awarded as many as 3 years ago

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Charleston’s City Council approved a measure during their April 1 meeting to use about $230,000 in federal grant funding on a number of projects.  

Those projects include:

  • Kanawha Valley Fellowship Home – A halfway house for men recovering from substance abuse. This amendment will allocate CDBG funds ($45,800) to replace the HVAC System. The KVFH will match approximately 18%.
  • City of Charleston Planning Department – Funds will provide for an intensive historic resource survey and national register nomination of 5 Corners (Charleston’s West Side) historic district for tax credit eligibility. This amendment will allocate CDBG funds ($15,000) for consultant fees for a structural historian and will include historic tax credit workshops.
  • City of Charleston Engineering Department – Under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is required to provide curb ramps when street, roads, or highways are altered through resurfacing. This amendment will allocate CDBG funds ($80,000) for ADA compliant curb ramps.
  • North Charleston Community Center – Parks and Recreation – This amendment will allocate CDBG funds ($59,320) for upgrades to the North Charleston Community Center. Upgrades include: replacement of doors with panic bars, renovations to bathrooms to bring to ADA compliance, installation of parking lot lights and swimming pool repair.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center – Parks and Recreation – This amendment will allocate CDBG funds ($28,291) for upgrades to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center. Upgrades include: raising front awning and adding gutters, replacement of doors with panic bars, renovations to bathrooms to bring to ADA compliance.

Mayor Amy Goodwin says the first thing her administration did three months ago was look line by line intensive at the city’s budget.

“And there was a significant amount of monies that were left over,” Goodwin said.

In a Facebook post, the city stated the following:

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is a program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The primary objective is the development and support of viable urban communities. HUD believes viable communities are achieved by providing, principally for low- and moderate-income people decent housing, a suitable living environment and expanded economic opportunities.

Goodwin said the funding was awarded to the city in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and has not yet been spent.

“Charleston can’t afford to let money sit idle,” she said Tuesday.  “We have too many important projects, too many maintenance issues.  We have too many safety and security issues.  We are going to put every single dollar that is awarded to us to good use and put it to use immediately.  

In the end, the families who use Charleston’s Rec Centers and the people who deserve safe and compliant infrastructure are about to see major changes, which is something everyone can agree is past due.

Goodwin added that they have already the city’s CBDG grant for 2019.

Their ask, she said, will meld perfectly with the improvements that are being done with the last three year’s funding.

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