Allen Park seeks recaptured CDBG grant money to benefit parks

By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – The city will apply for recaptured CDBG fund grants – money not used by other communities – to purchase equipment and improve city parks, City Administrator Mark Kibby said Tuesday.

Kibby said the Parks and Recreation Department will help the city apply for the recaptured fund grants, which become available Dec. 31 if other Wayne County cities do not use them for their intended purpose.

“They have to spend their money by Dec. 31, that money will be recaptured if they haven’t spent it, and the city will be applying for that money for projects here in Allen Park,” Kibby said.

Kibby said the minimum project proposal must be for $100,000, and the timeline is very tight. He said the project has to be completed by April 30, 2018, four months after it would be forfeited.

“We are looking at getting that money spent before the county block grant program has an issue with HUD and the timeliness of spending their funds,” Kibby said. “The county anticipates receiving back in recaptured funds $1.5 to $2 million. That is the reason for the tight time frame to get that done.”

Kibby said Allen Park has completed all of its CDBG projects and will not be forfeiting any money, and the city finished them within 16 months of the 18-month deadline.

“That is a testament to C.E. Raines’ office, Bocelli, Tom Murray and his guys getting out there to get our streets marked and getting the contractor,” Kibby said. “Savone Cement – Mario – really does a great job for us and he really helped get that spent for us rather quickly, which we are happy about.”

Kibby said one of the city’s recaptured fund grant projects would be for the Humpty Dumpty Park, which is also under consideration for a Wayne County grant.

“If we are able to get this at $100,000, we’ll move the Humpty Dumpty money from the Wayne County Grant to another park project at that point,” Kibby said.

He said the deadline to apply for recaptured CDBG money was Dec. 1 due to the tight time frame.

“They need to have the money spent,” Kibby said. “If the money is not spent, there is an issue with HUD that the county hasn’t spent the money.”

Kibby said there are 34 communities in the consortium, and if the money isn’t spent HUD will penalize the the group in future years.

He said the city just learned that the 2018 allocation is $98,910, which is the same as the city’s 2017 allocation.

“If they don’t meet the 1.5 rule and the deadline, which is like May 5 or something like that, it could be reduced significantly,” Kibby said.

The 1.5, or first quartile rule for outliers, which, while vague and subjective, helps identify projects that may not be justified.

(Sue Suchyta can be reached at sue.suchyta@yahoo.com.)