Federal grant hearing held

WEIRTON – Applications for Weirton’s Community Development Block Grant funding were mailed out Jan. 24, and the first public hearing to discuss the program took place at the municipal building Tuesday.

The 2014 Annual Action Plan for the City of Weirton designates the way CDBG funding will be used, with a minimum of 70 percent benefiting low- to moderate-income residents. The money is intended to promote housing, community development and economic development in the city. Last year Weirton received approximately $390,315 of entitlement funds through the program, according to CDBG Administrator Beth Gaughan.

Gaughan explained activities eligible for CDBG funding include acquisition of property, disposition costs, improvements to public facilities, demolition and environmental clean-up, new public services or increases in existing public services, interim assistance, code enforcement and special economic development activities.

Also on the agenda was HOME Investment Partnership funding through the Northern Panhandle HOME Consortium, which helps low-income, first-time home buyers offset the initial costs of investing in a house. Last year about $31,820 was allocated in the area through HOME, she said.

Project funding applications are due to the city by Feb. 18, and the Annual Action Plan will go on public display from April 11 to May 12, at which time it will be presented to city council. The second public hearing will be held at the Weirton City Building 3 p.m. April 29, and Gaughan encourages all interested citizens to attend.

The Annual Action Plan is scheduled to be submitted to the Housing and Urban Development office in Pittsburgh on May 15.

(Dalrymple can be contacted at sdalrymple@heraldstaronline.com)