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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

City Receives $800,000 from Community Development Grant Program

WASHINGTON--Today, U.S. Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz announced more than $800,000 in funding awarded from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to the City of Brownsville from the Community Development Grant Program.

“Through our Community Development Grant Program, we continue to stimulate our economy, while making jobs available for residents of South Texas,” Ortiz said. “These funds can create suitable living environments, provide affordable housing and create economic opportunities in Brownsville.”

The City of Brownsville will receive $881,400, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“Today, I am proud to announce that HUD has moved quickly to obligate more than $10 billion in Recovery Act funds,” said Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Nearly three quarters of our Recovery Act funds are now available to communities across the country and are being put to work creating jobs, making homes more energy efficient, and strengthening neighborhoods.”

Brownsville is one of 500 communities to receive funding totaling $620 million in the Community Development Grant Program.

Under the Recovery Act, recipients apply for funding for priority projects for which contracts can be awarded through a bidding process within 120 days of the grant agreement.

The Recovery Act made available a total of $1 billion through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. On July 16, HUD announced the first round of grants under this program to nearly 700 communities, totaling $360 million. With today’s announcement, all $1 billion are now in the hands of communities.

For more information about this grant, go to



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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The budget passed with the tax increase includes CDBG expenditures. Is that CDBG money allocated in the budget from the Recovery Act money sent out in July or this current $800,000? Or is it completely new monies?

In the budget, CDBG money was only spent on two parks, Linear and Charlie Cabler Park. Linear's money was for debt service, but is there any other reason why those parks were singled out for CDBG?

Can you assure us that the $800,000, if it isn't already earmarked for the budget you passed, will not be for debt service? Because if it is for debt service that would defeat the purpose of job creation, would it not?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009  
Blogger Melissa Zamora said...

I do not know, but I will find out.

Thank you.

Thursday, October 01, 2009  
Blogger Melissa Zamora said...

Response from staff:

The $881,000 is new money from ARRA for infrastructure projects. You are are correct: If it were for debt service we would be defeating the whole purpose of the Recovery Act.

Under the budget in July, the city borrowed money to build the Linear Park, and Pete Gonzalez asked that CDBG pay to for the park to alleviate the General Fund. For the next seven years, the CDBG program will have to earmark that payment.

Hope this answers your questions. ~Melissa

Thursday, October 01, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. I hope it wasn't too much trouble, but I think this is an important unanswered question.

Linear's money was for debt service, but is there any other reason why those parks were singled out for CDBG?

Why was Charlie Cabler Park chosen to be funded with special monies?

Friday, October 02, 2009  

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