October 20, 2014

Elyria
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Non-profits could receive grant funding

Editor’s note: The story on Tuesday’s front page might have had a familiar ring to it for you loyal readers. That’s because you’d seen it before – in December 2012, to be precise. An old story lingering in a reporter’s computer files got pulled, sent and put on the page. Here is what you should have read:

ELYRIA – The last ditch appeals of two non-profit organizations paid off Monday night as both could see some Community Development Block Grant funds in the coming year.

With the possibility of receiving little to no money on the line, the heads of both Save Our Children, an after-school literacy program for elementary students, and Adopt-A-School, an intervention and tutoring program for older students, both based on the city’s south side, made one final push for funding before City Council during a meeting where the 2014 CDBG budget was proposed.

“We don’t have the backing like other agencies, but that does not mean we do not do good work,” said Lori Angel, director of Save Our Children. “But if you spend just one day at Save Our Children, you will see why we can’t just turn our backs on the kids we serve.”

In recent years, the amount of money the city has had to grant to non-profit agencies through the federal program funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and meant to benefit low-income neighborhoods or residents has lessen as the funds have been geared toward more city programs. And, with a cap in the guidelines that limits public service dollars to just 15 percent, Council is often stuck with very minimum funds to hand out.

“We do this every year and every year it doesn’t get easier,” said Councilman Marcus Madison, D-5th Ward. “My advice to the sub recipient agencies would be to work with us in this process, making sure all of the I’s are dotted and T’s crossed so we can give what we can within the guidelines.”

This year, just $14,500 was available for distribution out of a total budget of more than $844,880. That figure include the 2014 allocation of $609,876 as well as $235,0004 in 2013 carryover and program income.

It was recommended by Councilwoman Donna Mitchell, D-6th Ward, that the available funds be split between the two groups, with both receiving a proposed $7,500. Members of the Community Development and Finance committees backed Mitchell’s recommendation unanimously. The proposed budget must still base a full vote of Council to take place at the next scheduled meeting.

The remainder of the proposed budget for the 2014 fiscal year is as followed:

  • Administration and planning, $127,957
  • Housing rehabilitation, $229,000
  • Code Enforcement, $150,000
  • Removal of Barriers, $150,000
  • Middle Avenue sidewalks, $82,880
  • Park improvements, $56,900
  • Ely Square fountain design,  $15,000
  • Downtown business loans, $92,125
  • Fair housing counseling, $6,000
  • Youth recreation programming, $5,500
  • Reach and Rise Camp, $10,000
  • Seniors TAP Active program, $30,000

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.