Sunday, July 24, 2005

Updated Details On Community Development Block Grant Funding For Salemtown

As I wrote here a couple of months ago, Metro Nashville has been awarded Community Development Block Grant Funding (CDBG) by the Federal Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) for the "Salemtown Neighborhood Strategic Area." MDHA (Metro Development & Housing Agency) will administer the CDBG.

I previously gave some examples of how that money might be spent, but the Tennessean also published an article this past Friday on suggestions for Block Grant projects given by residents and business owners around Murfreesboro Pike for community improvements in South Nashville. Consult that article for various CDBG ideas.

The next step for Salemtown is for MDHA to send out fliers to every resident and business in the neighborhood announcing a Kick-Off Meeting on Tuesday, August 9 at 6:00 p.m. at the Randee Rogers Training Center (1419 8th Ave., North--across the street from Werthan Lofts). At that meeting, 7 community members and 2 alternates will be elected by the neighborhood to a "Citizen Advisory Committee," which will meet monthly to advise MDHA.

Qualifications for Citizen Advisory Committee membership include:
  • Own property in the Salemtown NSA
  • Live in the Salemtown NSA and/or
  • Own a business or run an organization in the Salemtown NSA
At the monthly committee meetings, MDHA will provide planning exercises, leading to the listing and prioritizing of potential projects. Committee Meetings are open to all Salemtown community members, whether they serve on the committee or not. Eventually, the committee will vote on the potential projects and MDHA will implement the projects and make regular reports to the committee on progress.

Total funding for the three-year CDBG is $589,914. Here is the total funding for the three years of Salemtown's CDBG:

Year 1 (2005-06) -- $189,914
Year 2 (2006-07) -- $200,000
Year 3 (2007-08) -- $200,000

According to MDHA Community Planner, Linda Howard, Year 1 was originally projected at $200,000, but HUD cut funds. Year 2 and Year 3 are projected totals. Reportedly, cuts to projected funds are not unusual. So, Salemtown community members should not necessarily have faith in the Year 2 and Year 3 numbers.

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