ENHANCING THE COMMUNITY — Pictured, from left: Community Planning Coordinator Jason Knight, County of Erie Office of the County Executive Community Liaison Joseph McMahon and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. Photo by Andrew Manzella.
BOSTON — A meeting between the citizens of Boston and the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning was held in the Boston Town Hall community room on Sept. 19.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz spoke to those in attendance and Community Planning Coordinator Jason Knight explained how the Community Development Block Grant works and how it could benefit the town of Boston.
The CDBG gives low- to moderate-income municipalities in the Erie County consortium the chance to improve their communities.
This grant could fund projects like improving small business storefronts, upgrading parks, adding handicap-accessible ramps, or deferring repayment loans for necessary home improvements of individuals’ in the low-income bracket.
These public hearings on the CDBG give the residents of the consortium an opportunity to voice their opinions on what projects they consider important.
Not all municipalities are eligible for the grant every year, but, according to Knight, public support for a particular project could help bring it into action. “The grant money, limited as it is, is more likely to go to municipalities of a typically lower income,” he said.
In the past, the town of Boston has received money to support the first phase on a project meant to improve drainage and clean water lines.
Each township in the consortium will hold a public hearing in October to discuss the needs of the public and to determine where the CDBG should go in the future.
“Every town has to do it, even if they are not going to be requesting funds,” Poloncarz said. “You still have to give this forum, to give the citizens one more opportunity to voice their opinion.”
More information about the CDBG can be obtained at Boston’s public forum in October, or by contacting the Erie County Environment and Planning Department.