City disburses federal funds to local agencies
Sometimes the best thing a city can do is take with one hand and give with the other.
That's what the Yuma City Council did this week with $317,261 worth of federal Community Development Block Grant money.
As the pass-through agent that the federal government uses to disperse its CDBG money, the city merely takes the money from the federal government and then turns around and hands it over to the local agencies whose programs have been deemed worthy to receive the money.
At this week's council meeting, the city authorized the agreements that spell out the financial arrangements.
One agency that will be getting CDBG money is Habitat for Humanity of Yuma Inc., a non-profit group that builds houses for needy families willing to put their own "sweat equity" into building a home.
Currently the group is building an entire Habitat for Humanity subdivision called "The Village" at 27th Street and 19th Drive. So far three homes are up and a fourth one is almost done. All told, 20 snug, little houses eventually will be built at the site.
Deborah Blakesley, president of Habitat for Humanity's board of directors, said she's delighted that the group will be getting $50,000.
"It's going to enable us to complete the fence around the homes for our families and provide them with more security," Blakesley said.
Without the money, the fence would have been a long time coming.
"We would not have been able to put the fence up had we not received the grant," Blakesley said. And although a fence might not seem like a big deal to some people, in these uncertain times it means a lot to know that your loved ones are safe within their own yards.
"Just to complete these homes and give our families that sense of security (is important)," Blakesley said. "They can have pets in their yard and their children can be safe. By getting that grant, we'll be able to get that done for them this fall and make it a safer, happier neighborhood."
The other agencies to have their CDBG money authorized this week were:
*Yuma Reading Council - $50,000.
*Salvation Army and Boys and Girls Club - $40,000.
*Yuma County American Red Cross - $35,000.
*Amberly's Place - $30,214.
*Services Maximizing Independent Living and Empowerment - $30,000.
*Western Area Health Education Center Inc. - $25,700.
*Parents Anonymous of Arizona - $24,000.
*Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yuma - $17,347.
*Yuma County Youth Boxing Association Inc. - $15,000.
Because Mayor Larry Nelson is the secretary/treasurer for Amberly's Place, he declared a conflict of interest and didn't vote on that particular action.
T.M. Shultz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6852.