The city of Bloomington is expecting to receive $110,000 in grants from the federal department of Housing and Urban Development. Bloomington City Council member Susan Sandberg says while the grant allocations have not been approved yet, she expects the allocations to be distributed to five non-profit partners in the city. Sandberg said the agencies mentioned in the allocations have not yet been informed that they have been selected for the grant funding.
“This is very desirable grant dollars and this is for operating budgets and non profits really appreciate having the dollars to be able to pay for their staff needs, their salary needs, as well as material goods” Sandberg explains.
The grant recommendations will go to the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission next for approval. Sandberg also says that while federal allocations are slimming, the city is spending more on its grant funding.
“I will say, they are getting fewer the federal monies are become less and not more” Sandberg tells us.
Council member Tim Mayer also reported potential allocations for the Community Development Block Grant. Mayer said more than $466,000 has been granted for physical improvements around the city, including a sidewalk development project on 17th street. The committee recommendations will go to the redevelopment commission, then to the mayor’s office, and then back to the city council for final approval and ratification. Mayer said this grant allocation was unique in the amount put forward for the Community Development Block Grant.
“Typically we receive a little bit less than and we are related when we receive a little bit more than.” Mayer explains.
Later in the meeting, Council member Steve Volan encouraged the council to adopt standing committees for ongoing issues of concern. Volan says he would like the city to adopt nine standing committees, with each council member chairing exactly one committee, in order to avoid partisanship.
“Most importantly, the mere formation of standing committees send signals to all comers…to what priorities this legislative body has.” Volan explains.
Later in the meeting, newly inaugurated City Council member Isabel Piedmont-Smith extended an invitation to city residents to join her at Hopscotch Coffee on January 30th to discuss their concerns and visions for the city. Piedmont-Smith says she will hold gatherings like the one on January 30th every month.