By Ken Borsuk for Greenwich Time.
GREENWICH — After a lengthy debate, the Community Development Block Grant Committee has finalized its recommendations for allocating more than $800,000 to nonprofit programs and projects and sent them to the first selectman for a public hearing Wednesday.
The committee allocates federal block grant funds to nonprofit agencies that are in Greenwich or that help Greenwich residents. The funding covers both programmatic needs and capital improvements.
For this cycle, the committee received more than $2 million in grant requests but had only $827,850 to allocate from the federal Housing and Urban Development program.
“I think it’s always a challenge to award grants,” committee Chair Alexis Voulgaris said. “Adding the (coronavirus factor) made it even more difficult. After deliberating for nearly three-and-a-half hours, I am very proud of the committee’s thoughtful and targeted plan to help our local service providers who are working with some of our most at-risk residents.”
The allocations need the approval of First Selectman Fred Camillo and both the Board of Estimate and Taxation and the Representative Town Meeting.
Photo: Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media
Overall, the committee allocated $134,525 for public service activities and $696,505 for capital projects out of the pool of block grant money. Despite the tough decisions, Voulgaris said she was happy that all 22 applicants in the public service activities category got at least some funding.
Ultimately, 18 nonprofits and government agencies applied for those CARES funds, and the committee decided to award money to 12 of them.
That included $81,000 for Barbara's House and $69,700 for Jewish Family Services, which runs a Supermarketing for Seniors program that expanded to get food to seniors in need. Other allocations included $30,468 for Abilis Inc.’s emergency food and personal protective equipment; $20,000 to help Mothers for Others with their diaper acquisition and distribution program; $3,500 for Meals on Wheels; and $20,000 for the local food bank Neighbor to Neighbor.
Now that the allocations have been decided, the town approval process begins. Camillo has the power to change allocations, but that power is not often used by the first selectman. Camillo will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday via Zoom. The public hearing can be viewed by visiting the Community Development department at www.greenwichct.gov.