The Coast News Group

O’side City Council OKs CDBG allocations

OCEANSIDE — The City Council approved the allocation of $1.2 million in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), funds on Wednesday. The funds are awarded to improve the quality of life for low to moderate-income families and neighborhoods.

Oceanside focuses CDBG funds on its Eastside, Crown Heights and Libby Lake neighborhoods, as well as capital improvement projects and programs that benefit the entire city.

Funds for the coming fiscal year will be used for public services that serve youth, seniors, people with disabilities and homeless; neighborhood revitalization; capital improvement projects; homeless prevention; low-income homeowner loans and very low-income mobile home owner grants.

Programs receiving funds are Parks and Recreation Teens, and 4 Kids Sake; Oceanside Senior Citizen Association; Vista Community Clinic Teen REACH, and Club 55; Community Resource Centers; and the North County Lifeline Youth Program. A total of $190,676 will be distributed among the programs, as was last year.

Capital improvement projects to be funded are fencing and security for the Country Club Senior Center, and ADA improvements for Libby Lake Resource Center. Together improvements total $160,000, with $140,000 going to Senior Center fencing and security.

Allocations follow a five-year Consolidation Plan, which runs through 2020.

While 2017-18 funds are expected be the same as those received this fiscal year, federal funding has dropped over the past five years.

In 2012 the biggest drop was felt, when CDBG funds were reduced by 27 percent.

The reduction in federal funds forced the city to stop allocating monies to eight community service programs.

The loss of funding was sorely felt. While CDBG funds usually make up 10 percent or less of service programs budgets, the funds also count as matching grant funds for programs.

Service programs that continue to receive annual CDBG funds are linked to city programs.

Councilman Jerry Kern asked if CDBG funds might shrink any further.

Neighborhood Services Director Margery Pierce said the city considers CDBG funds one year at a time.

“We’re taking a wait and see stance, it is close to what is was last year, but next year (2018-19) it might not be,” Pierce said.

City Manager Michelle Skaggs Lawrence said more would be known about future funding when the President finalizes the federal budget in March. Lawrence added that if there were a reduction in funds, city staff would come up with recommendations.