How to use millions in federal grants?

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Among other things, Covington used federal funds to help make improvements to Peaselburg Park.

Covington wants public input on spending in neighborhoods 

COVINGTON, Ky. - The federal CDBG and HOME programs have brought the City of Covington almost $20 million over the last 10 years to invest directly in neighborhoods - funding things like emergency house repairs, sidewalks, down payments for homebuyers, extra police patrols, and upgrades to swimming pools.
 
As the new funding cycle is set to begin, the City is asking residents’ help in:
  • Deciding how to spend the $2.07 million the City will receive in the fiscal year that begins July 1.
  • Writing an overarching five-year strategy for the funds that determines community needs, identifies priorities, and sets goals. 
Residents will be able to give their ideas and input in person at a meeting, by mail, or electronically, said Jeremy Wallace, the City’s Federal Grants Manager, and he encouraged them to do so.
 
“People need to understand two things: One, how critical these funds are to quality of life in our neighborhoods, and two, how much the City pays attention to what residents say,” Wallace said. “Public input is crucial to the process.”
 
Residents and others have three ways to weigh in:
  • At a public hearing March 4, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Hellmann Creative Center, 321 West ML King Jr. Blvd./12th St.
  • Through a one-page survey found HERE.
  • And through written comments sent to Jeremy Wallace at jwallace@covingtonky.gov or mailed to his attention to Neighborhood Services Department, City of Covington, 20 West Pike St., Covington, KY, 41011. 
Program goals
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development operates both the CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) and HOME (HOME Investment Partnerships) programs. The City’s eventual budget document is called the “Annual Action Plan,” and the long-term strategy is the “5-Year Consolidated Plan.”
 
Federal statutes governing the CDBG program lay out three goals: Provide decent housing. Provide a suitable living environment. And expand economic opportunities.
 
The sole purpose of the HOME program is creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income households.
 
Previous allocations
In past years, the grants have been spent on a variety of housing and economic development initiatives, public facility improvements, and public services.
 
More specifically, the programs have funded: Emergency home repairs. Down payments for homebuyers. Upgrades to neighborhood pools and parks. Smoother streets. Sidewalk ramps. Police patrols in high-crime neighborhoods. Creating affordable apartments above small storefronts. Planting trees.
 
“But, as we do every year, we want to know what Covington residents think,” Wallace said. 
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If you have questions or you have an impairment related to mobility, hearing, vision, or speech and want to participate, contact the City at jwallace@covingtonky.gov; (859) 292-2147; or TDD (800) 545-1833, ext. 931.
 
Assistance can also be provided to those with limited English speaking capabilities or individuals with hearing or vision impairments. (Puede prestarse asistencia a aquellos con capacidades limitadas de habla inglesa o personas con impedimentos de audición o visión.)
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