YOUNGSTOWN HUD cut leads to smaller CDA plan

Using federal money for demolition will require more paperwork.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Community Development Agency Director Jay Williams has proposed a $6.6 million CDA budget for 2002, which he said is between $100,000 and $200,000 less than last year.
The city's CDA budget comes entirely from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the decline stems from a cut in one of HUD's grants, said Williams, who presented the proposal Tuesday to city council's CDA committee.
Despite that decline, Williams said he has proposed an increase from $380,000 to $577,125 in the amount of CDA money for the administrative cost of demolition and added an additional proposed $500,000 for actual demolition from another federal source.
These increases for demolition are designed to ease the burden on the city's financially strained general fund budget, he said.
However, he added, "Funding it from federal money is much more of a tedious process" because of federal paperwork requirements.
Favors proposal
City Councilman Richard Atkinson, R-3rd, CDA committee chairman, said he supports increasing use of CDA money for demolition of vacant houses to reduce the burden on the general fund.
Demolition of three vacant former school buildings, Monroe, McKinley and Washington schools, would be a priority in the CDA budget "if we had the money," he said. But, he added, razing one of those buildings might cost $750,000 -- an amount that could pay for demolition of many vacant houses.
Atkinson said council would be discussing entering a partnership with the school board for demolition of the school buildings.

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