PAHOKEE — The Pahokee city commissioners unanimously approved a resolution Aug. 25 accepting Community Development Block Grant funding amounting to $44,866.
“CDBG provides for services, salary and benefits, and we appreciate them continuing to fund these costs for cities in the Glades,” explained City Manager Chandler Williamson.
After a motion was made and seconded to OK the agreement, the only commissioner to ask questions about the use of the money was Regina Bohlen.
First she queried the city manager about a couple of particulars of the agreement with Palm Beach County under its agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for CDBG money allocated under Title I. According to the city’s Resolution 2020-21, “Palm Beach County made $44,866 in CDBG funds available to the City of Pahokee to provide services to low and moderate-income property owners within its municipal boundaries by funding code enforcement services to enforce applicable housing and building codes.”
Bohlen asked, “Paragraph 22 says something about a citizens participation plan. Do we have that?” The agreement says the city “shall cooperate with HES (the county Department of Housing and Economic Stability) by establishing a citizen participation process to keep residents and/or clients informed of the activities the municipality is undertaking.”
City Manager Williamson answered: “That’s something led by the county. We send them quarterly reports, and we have gotten good reviews from the county, but no there is no citizens participation group designated for the municipality at this time.” The clause adds, “as requested by HES.”
She queried him as to who manages the program. “The code enforcement manager is under Building, Planning and Zoning but also the grant manager has some input … so it’s a shared responsibility,” he explained.
Asked about the “target area” under the agreement, he clarified that is the whole City of Pahokee.
Then Bohlen raised another matter, saying she went looking in the city’s budget for a line item that lists the costs covered and the grant offset; the agreement also specifies that any of the grant money not used for the specific HUD purpose of the allocation must be returned to Palm Beach County if not used in full by the end of fiscal 2021 (the fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30).