Binghamton to receive $1.9M in federal aid

By Julianne Peixoto

July 7, 2014 Updated Jul 8, 2014 at 9:42 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Binghamton City Council held a final public hearing Monday night to discuss how they will allocate the $1.9 million the city will receive in Community Development Block Grant funds.

While this may seem like a lot of money, it's down 5 percent from last year's amount.

"Just to give you an idea, when I was working in City Hall in 2005 right before I left my tenure as part of the (Rich) Bucci administration, the Community Development Block Grant budget was around $3 million dollars," said Mayor Rich David. "You fast forward nine years later now, it’s been almost cut in half."

The committee will vote on the proposed budget during Wednesday night's meeting, but as it stands now, $305,000 will go toward public infrastructure projects, $193,750 will go to code enforcement and $40,000 will be given to youth programming and crime prevention.

"The money allocated to each state and each community depends on their index of poverty and some other factors which HUD (Housing and Urban Development) determines," said chairman of the Community Development Advisory Committee Marty Doorey. "It is need-based, so this money is to be used on behalf of low and moderate income citizens, and low and moderate income neighborhoods."

"By using block grant money to pay for these services we don't have to use tax dollars to pay for these services," said David. "It's disappointing to see the federal government year after year slash the CDBG funding because these are significant dollars that benefit the residents of our community."

A block of $120,000 will be left open for bids from community groups for funding. These groups must serve the low to moderate income community.

Applications will be submitted soon, and organizations will be chosen by a committee beginning in the fall.

The mayor says that he is optimistic the budget will be approved as-is during the vote on Wednesday night.

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