The Opelika City Council detailed the city’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) action plan during its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday.
The city’s annual action plan, as part of its five-year consolidated plan (2015-19), identifies the projects and programs to which have been selected by the city council to be undertaken with the program’s funding for the year. The CDBG allocation for program year 2019 from Housing and Urban Development is $255,632, a one percent reduction from program year 2018.
The funding under the CDBG program is used “to address community development needs with regard to affordable housing and supportive services for low to moderate income (LMI) families and individuals who reside inside the city limits of Opelika,” per the meeting’s agenda packet.
Per the city’s CDBG draft budget, $38,344 will be spent in the category of public services, $60,000 in public facilities, $86,162 in housing services, $20,000 in rehabilitation and $51,126 in administration.
The city’s five-year consolidated plan listed five goals: provide decent and affordable housing and supportive services for LMI families; provide decent and affordable housing and supportive services for populations with a disability and/or elderly; provide support for non-profit public services; improve public facilities and/or infrastructure; eliminate slums and blight.
Per the plan, the first, second and fifth goal will be accomplished through the city’s Emergency Home Repair program, the Homeownership Loan program and through the building inspection division with the demolition of neglected and unsafe properties. The third goal will be accomplished by supporting the East Alabama Food Bank’s Community Market.
In studying past performance, the evaluation deemed the Emergency Home Repair program a success and one the city had to continue “each and every year.” Among the other projects, the city closed on three home ownership loans and has five pending, and Opelika Main Street has had four façade renovations and two pending in the Historic Downtown Business District.
Council members David Canon and Tiffany Gibson-Pitts asked city planning director Matt Moseley about future action plans and the way future funds could be used. Moseley said the city council members would be able to discuss the use of funds for the future consolidated plans.
Additionally, the council also:
>> Approved D&J Enterprises, Inc.’s bid of $356,980 for Anand Street improvements and extension for the engineering department.
>> Re-appointed Margaret Mayfield and Mark Grantham to the Opelika Historic Preservation Commission.
>> Waived all building and construction permit fees for the Fuller House, a non-profit organization that seeks to eradicate poverty housing by promoting partnerships with individuals and community groups to build and rehabilitate hopes for people in need.
>> Approved a purchase of new cameras for the police department from Vision Security Technologies not to exceed a cost of $113,934.91.
>> Extended the city’s solid waste disposal contract with Advance Disposal Services Alabama, LLC, for an additional three-year period until February 28, 2023.
>> Gave a special appropriation of $1,000 per council member to the Opelika Learning Center.