The Press Newspaper
A Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and money in a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) will be used by Oregon to pay for sewer rehabilitation and drainage improvements.
Council approved the ordinance at a meeting on Monday.
The city has received $60,000 in CDBG funds for 2012.
“We’ll be proposing two projects with that allocation,” Finance Director Kathleen Hufford said at a committee of the whole meeting on June 4. “The first one is sewer rehab in the Portland, Arthur, and Olivewood streets area, and the second is drainage improvements in the Pickle-Wheeling streets area.”
The state is requiring communities to spend the balance in their RLF as part of the allocation, she added.
“So we’re proposing to spend $38,600 in RLF dollars to supplement the allocation,” she said.
The RLF loans are for community development, she said.
“It is a loan made to a business, and as that money is paid back, it’s available for other development projects. It’s all CDBG funding. So the state, as it is allocating less and less in formula program funds, is now requiring cities to supplement those funds with RLF dollars, which are also CDBG funds,” she said.
Councilman Jerry Peach asked for more details on the drainage improvement proposal in the Pickle-Wheeling area.
Public Service Director Paul Roman said the project is focused on the northeast corner of Pickle and Wheeling and involves six properties.
“They are areas that have never drained well,” said Roman. “It really is to assist those properties. There’s a lot of water ponding there. You can view it as a private matter. We’re willing to assist if we can by applying for this grant. Residents came to us a couple of months ago asking for help. And I think it’s appropriate for that area while you still have areas remaining that are low to moderate income. If it’s possible to improve drainage, that’s what we’re looking to do. It’s field tile work. It goes along the north property line of several properties on the north side of Pickle. The common line is also the south line of some apartments there, and it would drain into the Wheeling Street storm sewer that was just installed with the Wheeling Street widening project.”
Councilman Sandy Bihn said she thought the RLF is for economic development.
“I thought the RLF was for economic development and not for this sort of project match. If the state is pushing us to do it, so be it, I guess. Could the RLF be used for a match on Dustin, things we know need to happen, for economic development purposes?” she asked. Dustin has deteriorated over the years and is in poor shape.
Administrator Mike Beazley confirmed that the RLF is for economic development.
“It was originally intended for economic development. CDBG amounts made available by the state to cities are shrinking each year. We might drop off the list any minute now. Before the state provides any dollars in this category, they are insisting communities use up CDBG dollars,” said Beazley.
The 2011 project included concrete joint repair on Munding, said Roman.
“I really think using the money for the sanitary sewer lining in the Portland – Arthur area is money well spent. They are local sewers that are beneath Otter Creek. We try to get as much as we can for areas we think are in need,” said Roman.