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City seeks public opinion on grant money

The Boulder City Department of Community Development will hold a hearing at 5 p.m. Dec. 29 to get public opinion on how to spend Community Development Block Grant funds. The meeting will take place at Boulder City Library, 701 Adams Blvd.

Block grants are federal funds given to local governments for capital improvement projects and to assist area charities.

Boulder City Planner Susan Danielewicz said the public hearing was required by the federal government, but that any suggestions for how to use the money must be targeted for organizations and projects that primarily serve low-to-moderate income residents.

“The way we can use the grant money is really restricted and only a couple of groups and projects qualify,” Danielewicz said. “If people think that block grants are just a big pot of money they can use for their own project, they are mistaken.”

According to Danielewicz, Lend A Hand of Boulder City and Emergency Aid of Boulder City are the only two charities that qualify for block grant money and even they have to split a small amount of funding allocated for them.

“We get around a quarter million every year from block grants and we can only give 15 percent of that money to charities,” Danielewicz said. “Lend A Hand and Emergency Aid end up splitting around $30,000 between them.”

The two charities qualify for grants because their main purpose is to serve residents who may not have the money to take care of themselves.

The rest of the federal grant money has to go to capital improvement projects for low-income residents. For example, last year’s renovations to Senior Center of Boulder City used block grant money.

Handouts explaining how the grant money can be used will be available at the hearing, Danielewicz said.

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