A failure to communicate?

By Dean Shipley

June 16, 2014

Fliers? What fliers?

That was the question Dennis and Leslie Long of Wood Street had Monday morning during the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) final hearing held before Madison County Commissioners.

The Longs were disappointed in an apparent lack of communication between them, their fellow south-side residents and the city regarding a competitive grant application for funding for improvements in the south side of London. They were told fliers were distributed in their neighborhood to inform them of the intended work, but they said they didn’t receive them.

Madison County will apply on Friday — the filing deadline — for up to $300,000 in fiscal year 2014 CDBG Neighborhood Revitalization Program funds to address London’s South End Investment area, which is 74.3 percent Low to Middle Income (LMI).

The projects include:

• Parks and Recreation facilities ($121,000). It will include a sanitary sewer, restroom installation in Merri-Mac Park; 2,000 feet of pressurized sanitary sewer, a grinder pump and 300 feet of three-quarter inch water line.

• Parks and Recreation project ($30,000). Installation of two benches, two items of playground equipment at Merri-Mac Park. Also it will move existing playground equipment to another location.

• Street improvements: ($119,000). Repave 3,400 feet of Toland Avenue and 2,500 feet of Lincoln Avenue.

• Administration ($30,000)

The city is matching the Neighborhood Revitalization grant with $799,822 to replace the Toland Street bridge.

While the Longs thought more of the dollars should be put toward more street improvements than what’s proposed to be spent in Merri-Mac Park, they were not present to stop the process.

“I’m not pleased by the lack of communication,” Long said.

Commissioners felt the parks and recreation component of the grant application would make it more likely to be funded.

Whitaker Wright, grant application administrator, said it is important to be as competitive as possible because of the 120 grant applications he anticipated to be filed, only 30 receive funding.

The non-competitive grant applications include:

• Flood and drainage facilities ($82,400): a clean-out of 1,000 feet of Oak Run; installation of 320 feet of 12-inch storm sewer plus one catch basin along Wickline Avenue; installation of 800 feet of 12-inch storm sewer line and three catch basin along Antietam Avenue.

• Administration and fair housing: $5,100 in CDBG funds for fair-housing outreach and $15,500 in CDBG funds for program administration.

Dean Shipley can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1617 or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.