WARREN City officials expect a drop in 2003 block-grant money

Population figures play a large part in a community's block-grant allocations.
WARREN -- City officials are expecting a drop of between $100,000 and $300,000 in Community Development Block Grant money for 2003.
The decrease is because of the city's dwindling population. Figures from the 2000 U.S. Census list the city's population at 46,832. The number was well over 50,000 in the 1990 Census.
CDBG allocations are based in large part on a community's population.
A citizens advisory committee met within the last few weeks and hammered out its recommendations for which projects would receive funding and how much. The committee is made up of appointees by Mayor Hank Angelo and appointees of the three council members on council's community development committee.
"We wanted to focus on infrastructure like road repairs and sidewalks," said Councilman Daniel E. Polivka, D-at large, chairman of council's community development committee and a member of the citizens panel.
Public service programs and projects including Community Action Transportation and the Christy House Emergency Shelter also are to receive funds.
Where funds go
CDBG money goes to social service agencies, housing and other neighborhood programs.
The citizens committee met in a daylong session to whittle down the list of requests.
"It's kind of disappointing to hear that," he said.
David J. Robison, director of the city's community development department, said the committee reviewed the requests and made its recommendations based on a $1.6 million allocation for 2003. The requests for funding for different projects and programs totaled $3 million.
The office has recently received word that that amount could drop between $100,000 and $300,000.
"We put the committee members on notice that we may have to reconvene," Robison said.
He expects to learn by the end of this year how much will be cut from its CDBG funding.
"We've asked [state Sen.] Tim Ryan if there's anything he can do to help," Robison said.
Youngstown City Council members learned last week that that city will lose about 12 percent of its CDBG money for 2002-03 because of that city's population decrease.

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