Community Development Block Grants aid in economic development
The city of Sandy has its collective hand stretched out, asking for federal grant dollars to build community infrastructure.
City Manager Scott Lazenby told the City Council at a recent meeting the city has received Community Development Block Grants in previous years, but there is no guarantee for this year, since the federal budget is likely to be trimmed.
Sandy's suggested projects for the coming year include the following:
(1) ADA-accessible entrance to Meinig Park. $180,000 grant funds requested, $216,000 total project cost.
This project would construct approximately 420 lineal feet of 8-feet-wide paved pathway in two places to connect the recently reconstructed parking lot with the gazebo and main stage areas.
The path to the gazebo and amphitheater would be entirely ADA-compliant.
(2) Complete missing sidewalk sections north of Highway 26. $180,000 grant funds requested, $216,000 total project cost.
This project would construct approximately 600 lineal feet of curb and sidewalk on portions of Beers and Bruns avenues and Ten Eyck Road.
(3) Complete missing sidewalk sections on Bluff and Langensand roads. $180,000 grant funds requested, $216,000 total project cost.
This project would construct approximately 325 lineal feet of curb and sidewalk on portions of Langensand Road between Gary Street and McCormick Drive and 350 lineal feet of sidewalk on Bluff Road between Marcy Street and Marcella Court.
(4) Bridge the digital divide. $60,000 grant funds requested, $90,000 total project cost.
This project would underwrite the $100 SandyNet setup fee, and provide a reconditioned computer for up to 300 low-income households, which would receive SandyNet WiFi service at a reduced rate of $14.95 per month.
Eligibility would be determined by using existing indicators of income status such as eligibility for free school lunches or food stamps.
How CDBG works
The Community Development Block Grant program was started during the Nixon administration, and it is the only remaining source of federal support to cities for community and economic development projects.
Clackamas County is an 'entitlement' county, which means it receives an allocation of block grant funds based on a formula.
The county is eligible because the cities include their populations with the unincorporated population. Therefore, the county seeks applications from cities for eligible projects on a three-year funding cycle.
Over the years, Sandy has received a number of improvements, including streets and sidewalks, ADA accessibility projects and the remodeling and expansion of the Community Center.
Lazenby said the county allocates funds and manages the projects, and the city contributes a local match.
Councilor Carl Exner suggested adding to the list the sidewalk project along Highway 26 east of town.
A list of project ideas was prioritized by the council, and was then forwarded to the county.
Lazenby said he would keep the council informed about the county's progress toward submitting projects to the federal authorities.