South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Grantwood Village discusses CDBG funds, may use money to improve city hall


The Grantwood Board of Trustees discussed possibilities for its community development block grant funds Aug. 16.

Block grant funds are distributed through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the county. The funds are meant for housing, public service, infrastructure and economic development. The HUD website states the program “works to ensure decent affordable housing, to provide services to the most vulnerable in our communities, and to create jobs through the expansion and retention of businesses.”

City Clerk Jennie Sloss said the city has two options on how it should allocate the funds — $20,000 in total. The first is to improve the community building to make it more Americans with Disabilities Act compliant. The building acts as city hall, a meeting place for scout groups, polling place and counseling/shelter in case of emergencies.

The second option is to designate the money for residents to access through the County Home Improvement Program for eligible repair items like roofing or plumbing. The money would be split among qualifying residents, with each able to access up to $5,000. 

Sloss said in the past the usage has been low among residents when choosing the second option.

“Usage rates since 2018 have been one or two residents who have taken initiative to qualify,” Sloss said. 

Resident Chris Boeger suggested the village choose the upgrades to the community building so no money goes to waste, then allow residents to apply to the village and use the money in the same ways HIP allows.

“If we take $20,000 as a village, then hand out potentially $5,000 to $10,000, we’re money ahead.” Boeger said. 

The consensus among the board was that this would be the best option. If this is allowed, the board would designate the money to building improvements, then start a separate fund with the exact same requirements as HIP for residents. 

Other municipalities, like Crestwood, have used their block grants to make upgrades to its city hall, including increased ADA compliance. This year Crestwood is using its block grants to fund road work near Lodge Pole Lane. Other cities like Green Park allocated the funds to qualifying residents to make home repairs. 

The trustees have until the end of August to decide on how the money will be spent, and may call a special meeting.

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