Lewisville Leader > News
CDBG holds public hearing
Lewisville residents got the chance to give their input on how more than $550,000 will be spent within the city.
Recently, Lewisville's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) advisory committee held a grant input meeting. Lewisville will receive approximately $557,000 from the federal Community Development Block Grant program in 2013. CDBG funds must primarily be used to assist low- and moderate-income persons, households or areas with housing programs, community and economic development or social services.
"We won't consider any specific funding until March, but we held this meeting to see if there were any public comments about how to spend the money," said Jaime Kirby, grants coordinator for Lewisville. "We have two public hearings per year, and this one was to start the planning process. We didn't really have a budget to inform the public on and specific proposals weren't part of it. We did have some community input on future programs. We'll have another public meeting in July to end the process."
The CDBG committee has the option to use up to 15 percent of the funding for social services. For the upcoming year, that equals to approximately $83,550 that may be used for social services, which Kirby said is like purchasing services for the community. Some of the services that qualify under social services include healthcare, counseling, youth services and domestic services.
"During the public hearing, we had people from several different social service providers, who were educating people on their agency," Kirby said. "The two things that came up the most during the meeting were how to help services for Chin refugees, as far as helping them transition and work through language barriers, and homeless services. It was discussed that there is not a homeless shelter in Lewisville."
There are several factors CDBG uses when determining if an agency will receive funding. Kirby said the committee will look at each agency's mission statement and history.
"We have an application process that all agencies must go through to receive funding," Kirby said. "Most of the agencies that receive funding have a history with us. Some have received funds for the past 12-15 years."
The fiscal year begins for CDBG Oct. 1. This year, some of the agencies it is funding include: Christian Community Action's adult heath care, PediPlace, Communities in School, Operation Peace of Mind's first offender program, New Hope's youth on their own program, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Children's Advocacy Center of Denton County, Denton County Friends of the Family and Camp Summit. The committee also delegated some funding for emergency services at the Salvation Army and gave funding for a van for the meals on wheels program. This year also marked the first year for funding of LaunchAbility, which helps children and adults with disabilities by providing services.
"Every year we also fund a first time homebuyer program. We also sometimes fund public works or engineering programs," Kirby said. "When we make the final recommendation to the council, it will be for the entire budget."
Kirby said the application deadline for agencies to apply for funding will be near Feb. 1.
"At that time, all organizations will be on level playing field to receive funding," Kirby said.