by BRAD ROLLINS
City council members encountered an unusual problem last night in the form of $26,000 in unspoken-for Community Development Block Grant money from the federal Housing and Urban Development department.
Six applications received from nonprofit organizations and city departments totaled $586,167 — $71,298 more than San Marcos’ anticipated $514,869 allocation. But by the time it came up at Tuesday’s regular council meeting, the parks department withdrew an application for $95,500 to build Eddie Durham Park on or near the internationally known jazz musician’s birthplace.
Parks and Recreation department director Rodney Cobb told council members that the department would seek funding for the facilities next year. With the Durham park project off the table for now, council members still have to decide where to allocate the leftover $26,000.
Most council members seemed inclined toward Mayor Susan Narvaiz’s move to use the money to refurbish basketball courts in the Rio Vista Terrace neighborhood. Council members still must approve staff recommendations for the allocations before the projects can be funded.
CDBG coordinator Janis Hendrix’s recommendations for next year’s Community Development Block Grant allocations include:
- $100,000 to Southside Community Center through the non-profit organization’s annual housing rehabilitation program. Director Ruben Garza spoke at the public hearing in support of the expenditure, a $15,000 increase over the program’s 2007 grant. The program received $90,000 in 2005 and 2006. The money will fund reconstruction of seven owner-occupied residences. Download the housing rehabilitation program application here [pdf]»
- $77,167 to the Hays Caldwell Women’s Center for a children’s play scape and basketball court adjacent to the organization’s $1.2 million shelter. Executive Director Marla Johnson told council members that many of the 200 or more children a year they expect to house at the shelter will not be able to leave the premises for safety reasons.Download the shelter playground application here [pdf]
- $95,000 to the city’s public works department to build a five-foot-wide sidewalk along Guadalupe Street from the edge of Tuttle Lumber’s property to Grove Street. The allocation replaces $97,290 removed from the project’s budget last year to make up shortfalls on the Staples Road sidewalk project. The city has spent $71,765 on engineering services, Public Works Director Richard Mendoza said.Download the Guadalupe Street sidewalk application here [pdf]
- $94,500 to the city’s parks and recreation department to reconstruct Swift Park on Monterrey Street in the Wallace addition. The project will include removal of the existing basketball court and playscape and installation of a new 30 by 30 foot court, playground equipment, a bike rack and water fountain, Parks and Recreation Director Rodney Cobb said.Download the Swift Park application here [pdf]
- $25,000 to the parks department to stabilize the foundation and repair the roof on the Cephus House on Martin Luther King Drive next to the future site of the Durham park. Bought with block grant money in 2002, the home belonged to blacksmith and prominent black resident Ulysses Cephus. The request includes funds for an architectural review and design of interior remodeling that meets Texas Historic Commission standards.Download the Cephus House application here [pdf]