A room full of local citizens recited the Pledge of Allegiance through their masks as they settled in for a long evening of listening to and voicing concerns at Tuesday’s Titusville City Council meeting.
One recent topic of note — who will administer the City’s allotment of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds — was met with a unanimous decision by council.
The funds will no longer be administered by the Titusville Redevelopment Authority (TRA). Council approved transferring that responsibility to the Crawford County Planning Office.
Mayor Dennis Peden took responsibility for “starting the mess.” He initially questioned the amount of the administration fees being deducted from the amount the City received in CDBG-CV funds. Those funds were meant to help businesses and individuals in the community whose income was adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City received approximately $193,000 in CDBG-CV funding. At a June City Council meeting, council was told the TRA intended to take an 18% administration fee from that amount in order to handle the extra responsibility.
Peden continued to object at Monday’s meeting. “That money came to the City,” he said. “I felt that $193,000 should go as far as it can go.”
Council Member Jay Witosky said the decision, for him, was “strictly financial.” “We heard from the TRA and Planning Office,” he said. The Crawford County Planning Office will charge the City 6% to administer CDBG funds. “It’s beneficial to the community to retain more money to put into various improvements,” he said.
Monday’s motion by council allows the TRA to continue to administer CDBG funds designated for the demolition of 108-112 Diamond Street. The demolition project is slated to take place this month.
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