Representatives for 11 projects seeking federal funding for community improvements later this year made their case Thursday night to Idaho Falls City Council.
The projects are seeking Community Development Block Grants that are awarded every year by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. City Grant Administrator Lisa Farris said that this year's application would be part of Idaho Falls' third Five-Year Plan to provide improvements to low-income residents through housing, community development and other public services.
Representatives from all 11 projects attended the public hearing to explain what would be done with the grant money they had requested. The total sum of the requested program grants and administration fees needed to oversee them is $487,796. If the city was awarded that entire amount by HUD, it would be the most money given to Idaho Falls since 2004.
The largest single application came from the city public works department, which sought $125,000 to begin the first phase of curb and gutter repairs in the Highland Park neighborhood.
Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership was the only group that applied for a grant to fund multiple programs this year. The agency requested $26,350 that would be split between legal aid for the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program, construction of a wheelchair ramp at a local home and enrolling troubled teenagers in the Idaho Youth Challenge Academy.
The rest of the applicants at the meeting were:
— $10,000 for Idaho Legal Aid to assist victims of domestic violence
— $5,000 to CLUB Inc. for crisis intervention with homeless residents
— $20,000 to Behavioral Health Crisis Center of Eastern Idaho for homeless case management
— $60,000 to Idaho Falls Downtown Development for facade improvements
— $38,400 to replace the roof at the Idaho Falls Senior Citizen Community Center
— $94,670 to the Idaho Falls YMCA to build a vestibule and wheelchair lift
— $30,000 to Habitat 4 Humanity to help construct a new home on Elmore Street
Housing and Urban Development is expected to announce how much block grant funding will be available on Monday. Farris said the council will make a final vote on the funding for applicants May 23 and should receive the allocated funds by the end of August.