Hearings for community block grants next month

KINGMAN - Mohave County is seeking citizen input regarding housing and community development needs and possible projects to be paid for with Community Development Block Grant funds over the next two years.

"The purpose of the CDBG public hearing is to identify projects that would benefit low- and moderate-income people," said Mohave County Grants Coordinator Barbara Blythe.

The county expects to receive approximately $597,340 in fiscal year 2010 federal CDBG funds from the Arizona Department of Housing Regional Account. The exact amount won't be known until February, Blythe said.

The public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 7, in the Saguaro Room of the County Administration Building, 700 West Beale St., in Kingman, she said.

"That meeting will be the only opportunity for agencies to present projects for consideration. Applications must come from non-profit groups or branches of local government. Applicants must be able to prove project readiness," Blythe said.

The public notice lists examples of projects that could be funded through CDBG as: "public infrastructure (water, wastewater, street improvements); community facilities (parks, health clinics, libraries, senior or youth centers); housing (owner-occupied or multi-family rehab, utility connections on private property, new housing constructed by a non-profit agency); public service (paying the salary of an additional staff person to expand a Head Start program, purchasing a van to transport persons with disabilities, equipment and rent to start a new job training program); and economic development (a loan to a business for job creation, micro-enterprise development, acquisition of land for an existing business expansion).

"Each proposed activity must either benefit low-and moderate-income persons, aid in the prevention of slums or blight or meet other community development needs which pose a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community," Blythe said.

Mohave County Community Services will bring recommended projects to the Board of Supervisors on March 1. The supervisors will, at that time, prioritize and identify projects to be funded.

In May, the Board will adopt the resolution to submit the applications to the Western Arizona Council of Governments to fund those projects. Projects must also be capable of being completed within 18 months from contract execution.

More information on this CDBG process can be obtained by calling Blythe at (928) 753-0723.