SPRINGWATER — The Springwater town board held a public hearing to talk about the Community Development Block Grant Program on Tuesday night.
The CDBG was established in 1974 to help low income housing. There are four different program objectives with this grant: Housing, Public Infrastructure, Economic Development, and Planning.
The town of Springwater is choosing to focus on the housing grant, because there is plenty of need in the community.
Springwater Supervisor Deborah Babbitt-Henry said that this is the first of two public hearings for the CDBG. The second one would be given if they grant is approved.
“We are holding the first of two hearings to discuss housing needs,” she said. “If we get the funding we will hold a second public hearing.”
Babbitt-Henry said this is the town board’s third time doing the CDBG, and this time the landlords with low income housing units can apply. The whole town of Springwater is included in the process as long as they fit the criteria.
“We need you to give Jade Perkins (Deputy Town Clerk) the applications for the CDBG,” Babbitt-Henry said. “We need to get as many pre-applicants as we can, so they know there is a desire for the program here.”
There is a problem with one of the previous grantees not owning up to their part of the deal, with a letter stating that the owner needs to give proof of home insurance to move forward.
One of the points is that a homeowner or landlord needs to own the property for at least five years, and if they leave two years they need to pay that back.
Kathy Bawel was the only resident to speak during the public hearing for the CDBG. She asked why they only focused on one part of the grant, for more details on the housing grant, and if they would consider doing more than one category.
Babbitt-Henry said that people in town are always complaining about the homes, and that is the most important one to focus on right now. The grants are not free for the town board to apply, and that it is a lot of work to do more than one category at a time. The engineer and lawyer need to be paid when you apply for these grants.
“When you apply for the grant, if you are accepted you can pick from a list of contractors,” she said. “They get this list from Thoma. They go into your home and check what needs to be done, and the code enforcer checks the process of everything done.”
They will check windows, installation, heating, water tanks, doors and what they can do to save you money. The applicants are ranked by need and income base. The grant will then purchase equipment and supplies.
For more information on the CDBG and what it can do for your home visit http://www.nyshcr.org/Programs/NYS-CDBG/
Springwater Town Board did a Citizen Participation Plan handed out to residents who came to the public hearing. Any concerns or comments can be sent to Deborah Babbitt-Henry in written form to 8022 South Main Street Springwater NY 14560 in the next 15 days.