Downtown development finance plan includes the Flint Hill area

Jul. 09, 2013 @ 06:38 PM

Henderson on Monday adopted its slate of resolutions to be in compliance with state commerce division grant authorities in gaining downtown development financing.

With the goals of first prompting the release of a $50,000 grant recently awarded and then of eventually gaining a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant “Catalyst Program” award as early as in the coming year, the Henderson City Council agreed with resolutions to:

• Update the Language Access Plan that includes a focus on those with limited English proficiency.

• Update the Section 3 Plan for making housing opportunities available to applicable low-income residents.

• Update the Citizen Participation Plan to include implementation, assessment and assistance sections.

City Planning Director Erris Dunston said the updates come several years after prior efforts at getting block grant development funds. The programs are focused on planning improvements to the Flint Hill area of downtown.

“This is our first CDBG grant that we have applied for in some time,” Dunston said.

The resolutions follow the city’s recently awarded Capacity Building Grant. Before release of that $50,000 to the city, administrators must demonstrate they have the planning documentation set and up to date.

The Language Access Plan follows the Vance County plan of the same name put in place several years ago.

Vance County agreed last month to add recommended updates. The city action follows in kind, according to city manager Ray Griffin. The plan follows federally mandated guidelines set forth from Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to Griffin.

The Section 3 Plan is also known as a local jobs initiative, follows the federal Urban Development Act of 1968 mandating federally subsidized development to be awarded first to contract winners that give more work to job-qualified low-income residents.

Griffin said the city engaged in Section 3 planning during the development of the Hope VI projects. Hope VI was a program to construct apartment units in a number of Garnett Street properties.

The City Participation Plan with its new sections is focused on bringing more citizens in to the planning process of the community. A citizens group serves as an advisory committee for the project.

Part of the federal guideline requirements include holding public hearings prior to a grant application being submitted. Griffin said the requirements have already been accomplished in part by the public hearings held in late November that produced citizen comments on project priorities for Flint Hill.

The Participation Plan document, however, includes clarification that citizen input should include an ongoing advisory role, to include citizen efforts in the form of comments, complaints or inquiries submitted to program administrators or designated town officials.

The document also notes the technical assistance section applies primarily as a provision for citizens involved with the ongoing work of their community committee, so that those of low to moderate income or target area residents who are part of that organization gain help from the city upon request to Henderson city staff.

Assistance could be provided in the form of local presentations, informational handouts, research of a specific issue or other short-term efforts, according to the Citizen Participation Plan document.

Also during Monday’s meeting, the council approved a 2,500 linear foot waterline extension into Warren County with minor revisions to the May 15 original agreement requested by Warren County. The approval is primarily a perfunctory matter. The waterline is part of the Vance County system under their management.

• The Henderson Fire Department received approval for the $14,146 federal emergency management grant they were awarded last week. The grant includes a 5-percent city match of $744 council members also accepted.

The funding will help purchase two ventilation saws and 18 new fire hose nozzles.

 

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.