Proposed projects discussed at meeting

Posted

Residents learned about a few possible future projects in south Westminster that would benefit the area using federal funds during a recent city meeting.

On Nov. 27, a handful of residents heard from Westminster community development program planner Signy Mikita about the 2013 action plan, which describes projects to be funded in 2013 by Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and Home Investment Partnership Act (HOME) funds.

These funds are allocated each year by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and are available for projects that benefit the city’s low- and moderate-income residents, and to alleviate blight.

This year the city should receive roughly $500,000 in CDBG funding and $184,000 in HOME funding.

Mikita presented five possible options for how the city would use the CDBG funds as well as how the HOME funds could be allocated.

“A few months ago, the city prepared a questionnaire to gain citizen input on projects that would be funded with CDBG funds,” she said. “From that questionnaire we were able to gain a better understanding as to what was a priority for the citizens.”

Mikita said based on the questionnaires and staff analysis, five projects are being recommended for 2013 CDBG funding.

• Bradburn Boulevard realignment, phase II, $200,000 to $260,000: a project to continue the phased realignment of Bradburn Boulevard from 72nd Avenue to the BNSF railroad tracks to intersect 72nd Avenue at the existing traffic signal at Raleigh Street.

•Westminster Grange/Rodeo Market community arts center feasibility study,$10,000: preparation of a feasibility study and business plan for the development of a cultural community center that would combine the Westminster Grange and Rodeo Market Arts Center into one facility.

• Rodeo Market Park improvements,$150,000: continued improvements to the area north of the Rodeo Market for a gathering space, lawn areas, expanded art opportunities and gardens for residents.

• CDBG administration, $100,000 or 20 percent of CDBG program: HUD allows grantees to utilize up to 20 percent of the CDBG funding for administration and planning expenses. This funding pays the salary of the full-time CDBG technician and the part-time community development program planner.

• 76th Avenue pedestrian improvements,$35,000: staff is looking into the possibility of undergrounding the overhead utilities along 76th Avenue in conjunction with the improvements to Torii Square Park planned for 2013.

HOME funds are allocated through Adams County to be used on affordable housing projects and programs.

Mikita said these proceeds have previously been used to assist affordable housing development; to provide down-payment assistance to low- and moderate-income homebuyers; and for the housing rehabilitation program, administered by Adams County, providing low-interest loans to income-eligible households. Staff is recommending 10 percent, or $18,400, be allocated to county administration and $165,000 to the Affordable Housing Development Fund.

Before the public meeting, staff presented the proposed projects to City Council during a study session on Nov. 19. Each council member was supportive of the proposed projects.

“It all makes sense, and I look forward to actually getting something done and getting it under way,” said Councilman Scott Major.

Residents will have another opportunity to voice their opinions on the action plan at a public hearing during Monday’s City Council meeting at City Hal, 4800 W. 92nd Ave.

The complete action plan will be available online by Dec. 13.