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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • CDBG funding decreases

  • The federal funding the city of Leavenworth receives for the Community Development Block Grant program is declining for a third straight year, according to city officials.
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  • The federal funding the city of Leavenworth receives for the Community Development Block Grant program is declining for a third straight year, according to city officials.
    The program is used by the city to pay for things such as a home rehabilitation program and blight removal. The funding also is used to provide assistance to local public service agencies.
    When city commissioners met this week, they approved an annual action plan for the CDBG program for July 2013 through June 2014. The action plan was prepared based on funding for this period totaling $280,009.
    That represents a decrease of nearly $15,000, or about 5 percent, from the previous year.
    Linda Cooper, community development coordinator, said the figure used for the 2013-2014 period is based on a preliminary estimate from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees the federal program. She said the city has not yet received the official allocation figure, and the annual action plan may have to be amended.
    If the $280,009 figure holds true, it would mean the funding the city receives for the program has decreased by about $110,00 since the 2010-2011 period, according to information provided by Assistant City Manager Paul Kramer.
    The largest single-year decrease during that time came in 2011-2012 when funding dropped by more than $64,000.
    The last time the city's funding for the program was increased was in 2010-2011. The city received an increase of about $29,000 that year. Total funding at that time was $390,422.
    Kramer said the funding the city receives comes directly from the federal government.
    During Tuesday's Leavenworth City Commission meeting, Mayor Laura Janas Gasbarre noted that representatives of the city travel to Washington, D.C., each year to meet with federal officials. And one the topics city officials discuss is CDBG funding.
    "We do fight for it," she said.
    According to the annual action plan for 2013-2014, $56,002 of the funding the city receives will be used for administration. This funding supports a full-time position and operating expenses.
    Public service agencies will receive a total of $42,001. Of this total, $8,428 is being allocated for the Alliance Against Family Violence. Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas will receive $9,209. Court Appointed Special Advocates will receive $9,355. The Leavenworth Mission will receive $4,000. St. Vincent's Clinic will receive $5,825, and the Youth Support Program will receive $5,184.
    The annual action plans budgets $92,006 for a program that assists first-time home buyers meeting income eligibility requirements.
    The plan budgets $20,000 for a home rehabilitation program. And $70,000 is budgeted for blight removal.
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