The anticipated Community Development Block Grant allocation of $1,162,015 to West Valley City this year reflects a 10 percent increase over last year, which city officials hope signals a new trend.
"Before this year, the trend was toward decreasing allocations," said Carla Llewellyn, the city's grants coordinator. "The increase this year is excellent news, but it doesn't begin to cover our needs."Financed by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, the block grants are intended to help local communities develop housing and expand economic opportunities principally for low and moderate income individuals.
Communities are required to tell the federal agency how they plan to spend the money, and West Valley complied Thursday with a resolution listing specific expenditures.
The list was developed by the city's Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee following an evaluation of "needs statements" submitted by applicant programs, consideration of the city's three-year block grant plan and a public hearing.
According to the city's block-grant resolution for 1991-92, the general objectives of the funding are:
- Offer housing rehabilitation through the West Valley City Housing Authority.
- Stimulate community revitalization through public improvements and new infrastructure, especially in the area of public safety.
- Provide limited public-service programs for residents where no alternative programs are available.
- Improve recreational facilities.
- Stimulate private investment in redevelopment areas and create jobs for low- and moderate-income workers through economic incentives.
Acquisition of eight acres of land within West Ridge (the buffer zone around Hercules) at a cost of $350,000 is the single biggest item on the funding list.
Llewellyn said the land will be developed for commercial and industrial uses that will employ low- and moderate-income residents.
Home rehabilitation, code enforcement, down-payment assistance and other housing programs will get about $150,000.
The grant provides $70,500 for the 4300 West sidewalk project and $150,000 for city park improvements.
Smaller contributions go to a variety of community service programs, including child abuse evaluation and counseling, $12,000; homeless shelter, $10,000; emergency food, $7,000; financial counseling, $3,000; work activity center, $3,500; and transitional housing, $5,000.
The rest of the money goes to general administration, repayment obligations and contingencies.
Llewellyn said it would have been difficult for the city to fund the programs without the federal block grant.
"No question about it," she said. "It would have had to come out of the city's budget, and the money isn't available there."