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Friday, February 11, 2011

$1.8 Million Grant For OSPCD Sent Back To Finance Committee

Details on how a $1.8 million grant is to be spent by the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development forced the Board of Alderman to send it back to the Finance Committee for further discussion (item #190782).

The Sustainable Community Challenge Grant is a combination of HUD, EPA, and the U.S. Department of Transportation(DOT) funds awarded to Somerville for their work towards the Comprehensive Plan and the Green Line Extension. This grant is meant to fund various positions surrounding these areas including a Managerial position in the Inspectional Services Department. A recent study of ISD also noted the need for this position, but the report has yet to be processed by subcommittees it still sits in (Public Works and Utilities, for example). Members of the board agreed that this position would serve the department well, but were disappointed that the position would only be funded for 6 months leaving a tab for the city.

Inspectional Services Study:
Zucker Isd Study Final 11-17-10[1]

The approved budget from Hud for the grant is as follows:
Comprehensive Plan Outreach: $20,000
Planning Around New Transit Stations: $215,000
Preparation of New Citywide Zoning Oridanance: $185,000
Permit Streamlining: $43,000
Creation of Land Bank for Affordable Housing: $1,327,000
Project Evaluation: $10,000
Total: $1,800,000

This grant also requires a 20% match of funding which will be provdided through city staff time and operating funds related to this grant initiatives over the next three years. This will total $360,000.

The Finance Committee is tentatively scheduled to meet on February 22nd, but an agenda has yet to be posted and this meeting is subject to cancellation within three days in accordance with the Open Meeting Law.

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