Log in

Surprise CDBG plans wait on federal budget

Posted 4/7/17

Benevilla Enrichment Partner Cathy Applen, center, raises her arms Thursday, July 28, 2016 at Benevilla in Surprise. By Richard Smith

Independent Newsmedia

Count Surprise among the entities …

You must be a member to read this story.

Join our family of readers for as little as $5 per month and support local, unbiased journalism.

Already have an account? Log in to continue.

Current print subscribers can create a free account by clicking here

Otherwise, follow the link below to join.

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe. The five stories do not include our exclusive content written by our journalists.

For $6.99, less than 20 cents a day, digital subscribers will receive unlimited access to YourValley.net, including exclusive content from our newsroom and access to our Daily Independent e-edition.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor

Surprise CDBG plans wait on federal budget

Benevilla Enrichment Partner Cathy Applen, center, raises her arms Thursday, July 28, 2016 at Benevilla in Surprise.
By Richard Smith
Independent Newsmedia

Count Surprise among the entities waiting to see how the federal budget process shakes out in the next month.

The city’s Community Development Block Grant funding amount could face a sizable cut if the proposed budget is accepted. Surprise is entitled to the grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — one of several departments marked for a heavy slash.

Surprise budgeted $87,700 in grant funding to distribute in 2017-18 based on the assumption of the same funding level as 2016-17 - $585,139. 15 percent of that amount — or $87,700 — is available for public services.

Christina Ramirez, the neighborhood services program supervisor for Surprise, said during the April 4 council work session that things could change in a month.

“We have received notices from HUD as well as the county that there seems to be cut to Community Development Block Grants. Translating those for now, there seems to be a reduction of about 13 percent. They’re trying to form a budget and come up with some alternative resources, so it’s going to take a bit longer for them to approve the budget. There has been some discussion and right now there has been a 13 to 15 percent difference,” Ms. Ramirez said.

That is why council approval will be pushed back. She said HUD does not approve funding recommendations until Aug. 15-30.

“There’s a possibility that we might have to prioritize dollars from these amounts,” Vice mayor Todd Tande said.

Surprise does not receive this funding until October or November, typically, so budget questions should not change the timeline this year.

“It’s anticipated that we will receive the funding numbers in May. That will give us about 60 days, until July 15, to turn in the annual action plan,” Ms. Ramirez said.

In this year’s application period the city received grant requests totaling $206,466 from 12 nonprofits. Eight are recommended to receive some of the funding requested.

Children chose their backpacks during Sun Health's Pick-A-Pack Party Thursday, July 28, 2016 at The Colonnade in Surprise. Sun Health's three senior-living communities have taken part in a drive to provide new backpacks for West Valley Children living in foster care.
Councilman Ken Remley asked if all of the organizations listed are based in Surprise. Ms. Ramirez said they are not, but all assist Surprise residents.

“Surprise does, I believe, need more nonprofits in the area in order to support the growing population. But for now, we help fund to ensure there is more presence in the area. And every time that they bill us, they have to show who, specifically, they are helping, their address and their situation so we’re assured that the help is going to a Surprise resident,” Ms. Ramirez said.

The remainder of the HUD funding is largely planned for infrastructure improvements. Neighborhood improvement projects (including work on the AZ TechCelerator) are budgeted for $150,000, with another $20,000 in Surprise Senior Center Improvements.

Emergency home repair is also set at $150,000 with a maximum of $10,000 per home.

The city also wants to add a program for Micro-Enterprise Grants, encouraging business development and retention. That is recommended for $60,000.

Aid to Adoption of Special Kids $3,000
Benevilla $14,700
Central Arizona Shelter Services $8,000
Surprise Community Action Program $20,000
Mentally Ill Kids in Distress $8,000
Sojourner $6,000
St. Mary’s Food Bank $10,000
Sun Health Foundation $18,000