Ohio CDBG Proprosal Reinstates Downtown Grants in 2014

In February 2012 the Ohio Department of Development, Office of Community Development announced that they were suspending the downtown grants program, funded by CDBG monies. During the spring and summer of 2012, in addition to various testimony and hearings, the department put out a call for public participation to help shape the priorities for the use of dwindling CDBG appropriations. From that appeal, ten groups of eight were formed. There was a broad range of participation from elected officials, planning and community development staff, consultants, and both Joyce Barrett and Jeff Siegler from Heritage Ohio participated in separate work groups. These groups discussed the effectiveness of programs and needs of communities; how money was applied for, used and reported; what dollars were “formula” and which were grant driven; the thresholds that should be required, all within the context of the goals of and eligible activities of federal CDBG money. I think we all learned a lot about new areas.
In July the ten groups made presentations based on proposed ways to combine eliminate or create new programs. These people were genuinely interested in seeing that your limited federal tax dollars are maximized in Ohio to help low income populations and eliminate slum in blight in communities.
The recently renamed: Ohio Development Services Agency, Office of Community Development took into consideration large volumes of suggestions, sorting and combining ideas that had common themes. Their CDBG Steering Committee met again in early October to review preliminary program design. The GOOD NEWS DOWNTOWN GRANTS ARE COMING BACK! Thanks to Heritage Ohio and many advocates from around the state, we were able to make the case that rebuilding the downtowns is critical to the health of a community. We do want to leverage private sector development and create a stronger tax base through increases in income, property and sales tax. All of which happen within downtown revitalization.
Heritage Ohio extends our appreciation for the Development Services Agency mobilizing a lot of community coordination to redesign their programs so that they will be effective and get the most bang for the buck here in Ohio.

Comments

4 Responses to “Ohio CDBG Proprosal Reinstates Downtown Grants in 2014”
  1. I am thrilled the grants are coming back! Our small village of Leipsic was awarded a grant in 2007 and it was sorely needed! Since then, more buildings desparetly need work. In addition, we have lost our grocery store, sit down restaurant, laundermat and soon will be losing our drug store. We are a town of 2200 people and we need these services. The only buildings left in our downtown that even are usable and functioning are the ones that the owners took advantage of the grant in 2007. I am looking forward to hearing more about this grant and perhaps our town applying for it. I am on the Board of the Leipsic Chamber of Commerce and I will bring this to their attention. Our address is Leipsic Area Chamber of Commerce, 145 E Main St., Leipsic, Ohio 45856

    Thank-you!!!

  2. Drew Hastings says:

    Joyce,
    Thank you to you and your staff for getting this back on track.
    This will be one of my main goals next year for our city of Hillsboro. Thanks again!

  3. Sounds like wonderful collaboration and effort went into saving this important program.

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