The Moore American

January 15, 2014

City officials offer public hearing on grants

By Shana Adkisson
The Moore American

MOORE — On Jan. 8, the City of Moore held a public hearing to gather input from citizens regarding the expenditure of grant funds for two separate but related programs.

Members of community development led the hearing, which gathered a small audience.

One grant, 2014 CDBG Entitlement Program, will allow the city to receive an annual allocation from the Community Development Block Grant Program through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. These funds are intended to provide infrastructure and public service assistance for low-moderate income individuals throughout Moore. It is anticipated that the city will receive approximately $275,000 in 2014.

The second grant, 2013 CDBG-DR Program, is in response to the May 20 tornado and would allow the City of Moore to receive a $26.3 million grant from the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Program through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. These funds are intended to assist the city in its long-term recovery efforts, specifically to address unmet needs and benefit low-moderate income households. The city may use the CDBG-DR funds for recovery efforts involving housing, economic development, infrastructure and hazard mitigation.

Moore resident Curtis Thompson lost his home on May 20 and suggested that the funds be used for roads.

“Some of the concerns I have is our road conditions in our neighborhood. It’s not because of the tornado, it’s because of all the heavy equipment that went through our neighborhoods, they are tore up really bad, and in five years it’s going to be a mess,” Thompson said.

Thompson, who is currently living in Norman, also suggested fishing docks, walking trails, trees on the streets, sidewalks, and lighting in neighborhoods.

Another suggestion, made by a different resident, was to purchase the trailer park on 19th Street and put streets in for new development and housing.

Other opinions included repairing sidewalks and offering money to be used for straps on houses that would make the structure safer.

Another resident asked if money could be made available to help homes reconstruct that would be self sustaining in the event of another disaster.

“This really helps city staff on how to use those funds,” Ward 2 Council member Mark Hamm said.

A large portion of the crowd was at the meeting to voice opinions about offering a storm shelter fund available to Moore residents. However, according to Jared Jakubowski, special projects coordinator, the Red Cross has stepped in and offered a program for $3.75 million to start a storm shelter program in Moore. The program, which will be announced shortly, would free up funds from the grants to offer other needs.

Side bar

In a special meeting held on Jan. 13, city council members approved the following items:

· The revision of the Purchasing Policy Manual as required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the CDBG-DR Program.

· Approval of an updated accounting manual as required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the CDBG-DR Program.

· Approval of a revised conflict of interest form as required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the CDBG-DR Program.

· Approval of updated job descriptions as required by Department of Housing and Urban Development for the CDBG-DR Program.

· Approval of HUD Certification Packet to be submitted to the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the CDBG-DR Program.