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City can use part of stimulus money for streets

May 12, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The City of Hagerstown could use part of a $249,458 award from the federal stimulus package to improve streets.

Community Development Director Larry Bayer told the Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday that the city should use $74,000 of the money to overlay streets, $65,000 to improve the Ridge Avenue traffic island, $60,000 to install curb ramps, $30,458 to help fund the Community Free Clinic and $20,000 to buy computers for city staff.

The money will come in the form of Community Development Block Grant-Recovery Funds, Bayer said.

Community Development Block Grant-Recovery Funds are awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to "stimulate the economy through measures that modernize infrastructure (and) improve energy efficiency," according to city documents. The funds also are intended to "expand educational opportunities and access to health care."

Bayer told the council that the money is a one-time stipend, meaning the city will not receive the money on an annual basis.

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Seventy percent of Community Development Block Grant-Recovery Funds must be used to benefit low- and moderate-income people, according to city documents. No more than 15 percent of the funds may be used for public service activities, and up to 10 percent is available for administrative expenses.

Bayer said the city has to approve the projects by May 26 because the Department of Housing and Urban Development needs to know how the money will be spent by June 5.

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