After questioning what Deltonans receive from the private charitable organizations the city government supports, city commissioners July 6 unanimously approved the allocation of almost $600,000 of federal funds for the next fiscal year.
The annual largesse is a Community Development Block Grant, courtesy of the Congress and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The CDBG program calls for using the funds on projects and activity that benefit low- and moderate-income residents.
A summary of the proposed spending notes:
“CDBG money within the City of Deltona has been used to fund stormwater improvement projects, parks and recreation upgrades, owner occupied home rehabilitation for low income households, and non-profit public service entities.”
In accordance with the federal mandate, Deltona intends to devote a goodly chunk of the grant to improving drainage in an older central part of the city. Half the funds, $300,000, will be used to upgrade stormwater infrastructure around the intersection of Providence and East Normandy boulevards.
The city will also pay $21,000 to improve drainage along the segment of East Normandy Boulevard between Parker Avenue and East Normandy Boulevard.
“The infusion of CDBG money will facilitate these needed stormwater projects being more quickly advanced and realized,” the city’s report reads.
The other line items in Deltona’s CDBG budget are:
— $120,000 for administration of the grant
— $59,000 for housing rehabilitation and/or rent and utility-payment assistance
— $89,000 for nonprofit charitable organizations
The groups and the amounts they will receive from Deltona CDBG funds are:
— The Neighborhood Center, $20,500, to fight homelessness
— The Boys & Girls Club, $20,000, for youth programs
— Hands of Hope, $20,500, to fight homelessness
— Council on Aging, $15,000, for elder activities
— Early Learning Coalition, $13,000, for child care
The rankings of the organizations were submitted by the city’s planning staff and the Planning and Zoning Board. City commissioners amended the original amounts of two organizations, reducing The Neighborhood Center’s suggested award of $22,000 to $20,500, and increasing Hands of Hope’s award from $19,000 to $20,500.
Vice Mayor Anita Bradford called for giving more to a Deltona-based group.
“I don’t know that Deltona is the No. 1 priority for them [The Neighborhood Center],” she said. “I think the money needs to stay in Deltona.”
“Closest to the home, closest to the heart,” City Commissioner Dana McCool said.