Citizens District Council Minutes 05-01-2018

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Citizen’s District Council Meeting
City of Muskegon CDBG
Conference Room 203
Muskegon, Michigan
May 1, 2018

The meeting was called to order by Veania Coleman at 5:30 pm.

Roll call was taken by Samantha Pulos-Porter, and a quorum was present.
    Present:
            Ken Johnson - Commissioner
            Veania Coleman
            Poppy Sias-Hernandez
            Kim Burr
            Carrie Johnson
            Jeremy Lenertz
    Absent:

    Excused:
              Tom Pastoor
              Scott Banninga
    Staff Present:
          Oneata Bailey
          Samantha Pulos-Porter


A motion to approve the minutes, by Kim Burr, from April 6, 2018; Carrie Johnson seconded the
motion, which passed unanimously.

Oneata reported that the 2018 proposed Action Plan was delivered to the members to the CDC.
She explained that in addition to checking for typos and grammatical errors in the plan, that CNS
welcomes comments or suggestions about its contents. Oneata also noted that a proposed new
program is included, the Senior Pilot Program, serving residents 55 and up. The intent in the
future, would be to apply for funds through the county-wide mileage that passed for senior
HUD has only released allocation numbers for the CDBG-HOME budgets on May 1st, a few
hours before the meeting. Budget details will be discussed under new business.

The new CDBG-HOME proposed budget was presented. A handout was given to the CDC Board
Members with existing balances in each allocation category and a staff proposed budget. Oneata
explained some categories in bold (admin costs, fire station bond repayment, youth recreation)
are already accounted for - from a prior budget committed to with the City and staffing costs for
CNS. Oneata also explained that the Service Delivery category goes towards CNS’ Housing
Rehab Specialist salary and benefits package and different tasks performed by staff in CNS. And
that the Code Enforcement line in the budget, pays for a Planning Department staff member’s
salary. The budget is proposed to put $96k towards renovations at the Smith-Ryerson Pavilion in
2018-2019 in coordination with DPW.

Commission Johnson asked about the money allocated to Housing and Affordable Units. Oneata
explained that a certain minimum amount has to be there, per HUD, and that the CDC could
allocate more – not less in that category. He also asked why the Priority Home Repair has been
reduced. Oneata explained that there is over $200k for that activity, even before the 2018-2019
funds will be received. She also explained the timeline that HUD expects to have the Action Plan
submitted and will approve our proposed budgets. Oneata also explained that although there is a
considerable existing balance for this activity, each funding year a certain percentage of the total
allocation from HUD must go into a category that directly helps low income people. Questions
were asked by the group if the money could be used for marketing the program to push
information about the program and its availability into the community. Oneata explained that
marketing could be done, however the money must come from the CDBG Administration
category of the budget.

Jeremy Lenertz asked the reasoning behind not funding Dangerous Building and Board Ups.
Oneata explained that it was a directive from the City Manager because the City is doing well
and no longer needed the financial support from CDBG funds.

Poppy Sias-Hernandez asked about how the money is used that is received by the Boys and Girls
Club and Muskegon Public Schools for the Youth Recreation Activity. Questions were asked
about the increase over the years in the amount in the category. The changes in how youth
recreation funds are received were discussed. Poppy described multiple small youth recreation
grants that used to be processed by the former Director of Planning. After her retirement, staffing
to process the grants was re-organized throughout city staff and now is available in coordination
with the Neighborhood Associations through the Neighborhood Empowerment Program. The
application procedure as well as obstacles and opportunities of the program were discussed as
Commissioner Johnson also asked why Demolitions and Board Ups were taken out of the
budget. Oneata explained that it was a directive from our City Manager. Commissioner Johnson
suggested that the CDC have more of a chance to read over and understand the budget, before it
is presented to commission. Oneata explained that she has HUD timelines to adhere to and the
public also has to have an official comment period prior to submission.

The CDC discussed the process and timelines of the Action Plan required to be submitted to
HUD each year. The board decided to hold a special meeting on Monday, May 14th, to discuss
the issue further.

      West Michigan Works!

       No program exists for a summer youth work program. There is an existing program for
       alternative students.

    Poppy expressed concern that the support services needed for alternative students will not
    be adequate off campus.

Poppy Sias-Hernandez motioned to adjourn the meeting, Kim Burr seconded the motion, which
passed unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 6:45 pm.

The next meeting date is: May 14, 2018 for a Special Meeting to discuss the budget.

The possibilities and parameters of the proposed Senior Pilot Program were discussed by the
group. CNS estimated that each senior would be helped for jobs around $5000 and that 20
seniors would receive help. CNS is also applying for a Lead Grant from the State of Michigan.

A reminder was given to adhere to the Open Meetings Act. Staff communication is encouraged.

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