The City of Titusville is seeking input from city residents to determine what would be the best use of more than $300,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds the city anticipates receiving this year.
Crawford County Planning Director Zachary Norwood led a public hearing on Tuesday. The hearing was the first of two required hearings which aim to inform the public of the process of applying for the federal funds and allow them to weigh in on the use of those funds.
Projects funded by CDBG must meet criteria in order to be eligible for funding. The project must benefit low-to-moderate income residents, eliminate blight or meet an urgent need.
Norwood explained the criteria by citing an example. If the City chose to pave an alley, the direct beneficiaries would be people who use that alley on a regular basis. If 51% of those people qualify as low-to-moderate income, the project would be eligible. Paving a main roadway, could be a different story, according to Norwood.
Norwood said CDBG funds are often used to address blighted properties. He said that 30% of CDBG funds a municipality receives can be used to address blight, while 70% must benefit low-to-moderate income residents. Blight can include both an area of homes or, more commonly, an individual property.
Norwood cited some past examples of City projects accomplished by CDBG funding. In 2015, the City made improvements to intersections in order to be ADA compliant. The City also did some spot blight removal.
In 2017, the City used approximately $221,084 in CDBG funds to construct the Splash Pad in Burgess Park, according to Norwood.
Public comment on any proposed City project that could be funded by CDBG money can be submitted to City Manager Neil Fratus by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to 107 N. Franklin St., Titusville, Pa. 16354. The deadline for comment is Aug. 10.
Proposed projects can also be sent to Fratus at the same email address or to email@example.com.
Drumm can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.