CEDA gets approval to apply for $675,000 grant
The Community and Economic Development Authority has received seven applications from local, community-oriented organizations for federal money, but only five requests will be filled.
The Authority, commonly referred to as CEDA, is preparing its application for $675,000 in grant money from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). Administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, the grant program awards money to communities for affordable housing projects, infrastructure development and programs for low-income residents.
Wareham has historically received the grant because of its high percentage of low- and moderate-income residents. Other communities must apply for the funds on a competitive basis.
CEDA Interim Director Peter Sanborn sought and received approval from Selectmen Tuesday night to move forward with the grant application.
Due on March 10, this year’s application includes requests a renewal of the “slum and blight” designation for Wareham Village and funds to draft a plan to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Ten years ago, Wareham approved conducting a study that determined that the Village was a "blighted area." The designation allowed CEDA to spend CDBG funds in the area, which resulted in improvements to infrastructure and funded several studies.
This year, the designation is set to expire. Sanborn recommended renewing the designation. Doing so will "enable the town to commit additional CDBG funds to the Village for the next decade," according to Sanborn.
Updating the ADA plan includes making sure that municipal buildings are accessible to people with disabilities and that town policies don’t unintentionally discriminate against them.
Before the March 10 deadline, Sanborn said CEDA members must decide how to allocate $135,000 that will be awarded for “public social services,” according to federal guidelines.
“As it is, one request will be unfunded and others will have to be reduced,” said Sanborn.
New this year, CEDA asked applicants to make requests between $10,000 and $50,000 based on need. In past years, applicants were only able to request either $25,000 or $35,000.
“The intent was to encourage proposals that correspond to actual financial needs and capacity to deliver programs on a timely basis, rather than to set an arbitrary amount,” Sanborn wrote in a report to Selectmen.
Groups that have submitted applications include: GATRA Transportation program ($30,000); Damien’s Place Food Pantry ($25,000); Turning Point Day Resource Center ($35,000); The Boys & Girls Club ($47,025); Wareham Free Library ($20,000); and the Wareham Council on Aging ($16,000 for director’s salary), ($13,804 for elderly outreach worker).