Cumberland Times-News

Local News

January 7, 2014

City expects $700,000 in block grant funding

Nonprofits can submit project requests on Feb. 11

CUMBERLAND — The city of Cumberland expects to receive around $700,000 in U.S. Housing and Urban Development-sponsored grant funding for fiscal 2015, according to Lee Borror, community development specialist with the city.

The proceeds, known as a Community Development Block Grant, will be distributed by the city to a variety of local nonprofit organizations that offer projects to assist low-income neighborhoods.

“I think the funding can fill the gaps for a lot of public service agencies when their other funding sources have been lowered so badly,” said Borror.

Interested nonprofit organizations are urged to submit their project requests in person at the regular meeting of the mayor and City Council at City Hall on Feb. 11 at 6:15 p.m.

“We normally average around 15 requests. Last year we had around $900,000 worth of project requests,” said Borror.

“The deadline for nonprofits to submit all written requests for grant funding is Feb. 21,” said Borror.

The city has applied for the HUD block grant and is still awaiting word on the final total. Borror feels the awarded amount will be similar to last year’s grant of $721,000.

“We hope to know for sure by March,” said Borror.

The upcoming block grant will be for the period of July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015.

The majority of projects that the city funds is health and human services related; however, some infrastructure projects receive funding.

“We are doing a portion of sidewalk on Maryland Avenue,” said Borror.

Infrastructure improvements are usually done when a neighborhood group organizes and obtains the estimates. However, the grant dollars are typically service related.

Borror said some of the past recipients have been Friends Aware, Allegany Health Right, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Archway Station, The Arts Bus, Salvation Army and Associated Charities.

 “We try to make it well-rounded,” said Borror.

Associated Charities helps pay for prescriptions for low-income individuals. Allegany Health Right helps with the cost of dental work.

Once the city has received the applications from the organizations, they are rated and ranked based on initial eligibility, ability to address an identified goal, agency capacity and experience, project complexity and matching funds.

City officials examine an organization’s ability to obtain matching funds to supplement its goals.

“Even if we can only award a smaller amount, it might help them keep going,” said Borror.

The city will hold mandatory technical assistance meetings for applicants Jan. 22 and 23 at 10 a.m.

Anyone interested in more information can email Borror at lborror@allconet.org or phone 301-759-6437.

Greg Larry can be contacted at glarry@times-news.com.

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