Citizens District Council Minutes 03-04-2014

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Citizen’s District Council Meeting
City of Muskegon CDBG
Conference Room 203
Muskegon, Michigan
Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The meeting was called to order by the Chairman, Tom Pastoor, at 5:40 p.m. He
welcomed the new Board member, Emma Torresen, representing Ward 4 and
introduced the other members to her.

Roll call was taken by Laura Hichue
Present:             Tom Pastoor, Addie Sanders-Randall, Kim Burr, Chris Carter, Billie
                     Quinn, Emma Torresen, Commissioner Ken Johnson
Excused:             Chris Carter, Rosalind Ford
Staff Present:       Oneata Bailey, Laura Hichue

After reviewing the February, 2014 minutes, a motion was made by Kim Burr to approve
the minutes. Addie Sanders-Randall seconded the motion which carried unanimously.
Mr. Johnson asked that his packet be e-mailed to his City e-mail address.

Mr. Pastoor talked about the communication plan that was discussed at the last meeting
regarding how to get the word out about the City’s programs and the sources that could
be used; they included the neighborhood associations, Evanston Avenue Church, Face
book. Oneata stated that the City Clerk would put any information given her on the
City’s Face book page and there are updates every few weeks. Oneata also stated
that there were many calls after the article was on M-Live and in the Chronicle.
Safebuilt has also asked for leaflets about the Rental Rehab program to send out with
their mailings.


Mr. Pastoor asked Oneata about the meeting with the City Manager and City Staff.
Oneata stated the meeting was with the City Manager, the Planning/Economic Director,
and the Finance Director.

Mr. Pastoor stated that in the past, most of the CDBG monies went to City staff and
services, but some comments made at the public meetings suggested different ways to
possibly use some of the monies. The subsequent meeting after the public hearings
was to discuss the funding. He asked if there was a possibility of using a portion of the
monies for one of those ideas.

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Oneata stated HUD suggested that we plan on the same amount as last year with a 5%
decrease. Last year the City received almost $900,000 and was able to give Love, Inc.
almost $9,000. They provide ramps and rent/utility assistance to income qualified
residents. The City was able to help approximately 12 people in 2013.

Mr. Pastoor asked what happened in the meeting regarding the 2014 funding.

Oneata stated there were several good ideas presented at both public meetings that
were held the previous month. One of the suggestions was to assist seniors in the
downtown areas, specifically snow removal around the Frauenthal area. She stated the
Downtown Development organization would address that and we will not have to use
CDBG monies.

Oneata said one thing the CDBG funding could be used for are Neighborhood Grants.
These would provide each neighborhood association to assist with something in their
neighborhood. She cited the Nims Neighborhood attempting to create a playground on
the Nims School property. She said funds have been raised and they need assistance
in reaching their first goal.

Mr. Johnson discussed the neighborhood’s plans and where they were in the process
with the School Board and the City.

Mr. Pastoor advised Mr. Johnson on some issues to address as they go forward with
their vision for the playground.

Mr. Pastoor asked Oneata if there was a dollar amount proposed at the meeting for the
neighborhood grants.

Oneata stated that $20,000 to $30,000 could be set aside for the neighborhood grants.
It could be used for a park in the neighborhood that needs help, or a baseball field.
What the City wants to see in a grant is that their has been due diligence done on the
neighborhood association’s part and that there is some existing funding when applying
and goals, rather than coming with nothing in hand.

Mr. Pastoor asked if this would be done annually.

Oneata stated that the City will see how it goes this year and if some groups don’t
receive funding because of the high interest, it could go into the following year and see
if they are still interested.

Oneata said she will get the information out at the NAM meeting on Wednesday to get
them to start thinking about what they could use some funding for. The only way to
receive the funding would be through an active neighborhood association.

Mr. Pastoor would like to have the neighborhoods that have the ability to get things
done to help those that don’t have the manpower or ability.

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Oneata said another idea brought up at the planning session was time-banking. The
City is proceeding with Volunteer Muskegon in looking for city residents to list what their
“talent” is and how much time they would be able to volunteer, and put together a roster
of who and what. Then, when someone needs assistance with doing a small job around
the home, they could contact Volunteer Muskegon to team them with someone that
would be able to help them. Mr. Peterson would like the City’s employees to be the
“guinea pigs” and is having the IT Department work with Volunteer Muskegon to get the
list started.

Oneata stated Mr. Peterson is also interested in expanding the vinyl siding program to
include painting. There is a target area being created to address blight in a portion of
the Nelson Neighborhood concentrating around the high school. There also will be
demolition monies available to address homes that have been vacant for a long period
of time and are a blight to the neighborhood. Another $30,000 may be added to the
target area to address these types of properties to make an impact in an area.

Mr. Pastoor reviewed what has been the process for allocating CDBG funds and asked
Oneata what the CDC’s voice would be in this year’s process now that the public has
had an input.

Oneata stated that hopefully at the next meeting all of the proposals would be able to be
presented. She said that only 2 CHDO applications were submitted and the total
amount was less than $100,000 for both of them.

Mrs. Torresen asked what the average amount per house was requested from a CHDO.

Oneata stated it varied depending on what they were using the money for. For a total
rehabilitation or two-unit, it would probably be around $50,000. She further explained
the different costs that can determine the amount.

Mr. Johnson asked if the CDC can guide or advise a CHDO where to do infill or rehabs.

Oneata stated the applications are based on the City’s 5 Year Plan and the CHDO has
to align with that plan. Because the Target Area plan and the CHDO applications are at
the same time, they wouldn’t know that we are targeting a certain area and may have
their project already scheduled for another area; fortunately, Community enCompass
does do work in part of the Nelson Neighborhood.

Oneata further told the Board that the packet for the next meeting will include the CHDO
applications and the proposals from City Staff, which is the City Manager, the Finance
Director and the Planning/Economic Director.

Mr. Pastoor stated that he was very excited that the City was opening up to new ideas
and investing more in the City.

Mr. Johnson stated thought it was important for the CDC and the City to invest CDBG
money in the community.

Oneata stated that money isn’t being taken from anybody; it’s being taken from a City
program that may not be working as well as hoped.

Oneata asked if the Board would like to have the CHDO’s present at the next meeting.
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Mr. Pastoor didn’t think it was necessary; Mrs. Torresen asked questions about the
application process and Oneata explained.

Mrs. Torresen asked what happens with unused monies that were granted the year

Oneata explained that the City can take it back and use it for other programs. She
explained what Habitat for Humanity and Community enCompass are planning on

Mr. Pastoor clarified that the 2 CHDO’s are still planning on using last years funds and
what they are asking for this year will be used for a different project. Oneata agreed
and that the funding being requested for this year will begin July 1.

Oneata explained that at the next meeting will be the budget package to review and
answer questions if there are any. After that, the budget will go to the City Commission.
The Action Plan will also need to be prepared and submitted to the CDC before the May
meeting based on what is approved in April.

Oneata stated that the DTE Test and Tune Program is helping the CNS budget by
reimbursing for furnaces and will continue quarterly for the year.

Mr. Pastoor asked about expanding the vinyl siding program; Oneata explained that
was for the target area and she would provide a narrative for that item in the budget
packet. If the Board had questions about it, Mr. Peterson could be asked to come to the

Discussion took place regarding the new Neighborhood Grant funding. Oneata stated
the CDC would assist the City in preparing the criteria for the grant request and provide

Mr. Pastoor stated that the board could assist doing that but did not feel comfortable
evaluating the requests when they were submitted because most of the Board members
belonged to neighborhood associations.

Mr. Pastoor stated he felt that any applications that come in representing multiple
neighborhoods willing to work together would be given strong consideration. He
explained issues that his neighborhood has in common with others. Discussion took
place regarding costs of printing and mailing neighborhood newsletters.


Oneata stated that the M-Live article created a large volume of phone calls and e-mails
inquiring about the programs.

Mrs. Quinn moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:35 p.m.; the motion was seconded by
Mrs. Burr and carried unanimously.

The next scheduled meeting is April 1, 2014, at 5:30 p.m.

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