The City of Atlantic may be forced to refund to the State more than $183, 800 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds it received for the rehabilitation of 13 homes, because the full grant amount from has not yet been spent. That was the word during Wednesday night’s City Council meeting, from SWIPCO (Southwest Iowa Planning Council) representative Dave Riedemann.
In his status update, Riedemann said the City received a $484,500 grant last year for the rehab program. The City contributed in-kind funds amounting to $26,000, for a total amount of funds available, of $510,500. So far all but $183, 809 has been spent. Eight of the 13 homes have been completed, with the remaining five in various stages of completion. Riedemann said SWIPCO has requesting an extension from the State for a six-month extension and permission to rehab three additional homes, because there will be leftover funds amounting from about $115-to 125-thousand dollars.
That would bring the total number of homes assisted to 16, if the State grants permission for the City to do so. Riedemann says up until this past Monday, that seemed like a sure thing. He says a similar extension was asked for in Shenandoah, but it was denied, which Riedemann says was “A first” for SWIPCO. He said “Things are tightening-up at the State level and changes have been made in how the CDBG program is implemented. Some of the changes will apparently be “retroactively applied.”
He says he’s hopeful that the State will grant a time extension for expenditure of the funds and completion of three more homes, but that’s hard to predict. The funds must be used by the end of April. If not, more than $100,000 will have to be returned to the State. Regardless, Riedemann said the original 13 houses will be completed as planned. HUD says SWIPCO can’t expend overall more than $37,500 per house, including lead abatement. Hard costs cannot exceed $25,000 if there is no lead removal needed.
Most of the work involves the installation of vinyl siding to enclose lead-based paint, vinyl replacement windows for energy efficiency, high efficiency furnaces and air conditioning, updated electrical and plumbing, and special needs alterations as needed and funds allow.