Janesville72.3°

Janesville agencies in line for block grant funds

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
September 25, 2009
— HealthNet and ECHO each would receive $38,000 under a recommendation made Wednesday by the Community Development Authority that will be forwarded to the city council during 2010 budget discussions.

The city should receive an estimated $95,000 in federal block grant money for public service activities in 2010, said Jennifer Petruzzello, neighborhood services director. That’s down from $100,000 this year and $110,000 in 2008.


The CDA makes recommendations to the council on how best to allocate the funds.


The CDA considered requests totaling $216,000 from seven non-profit agencies, the central city’s Neighborhood Action Team and city staff itself looking for seed money for an anti-poverty project.


Other recommended allocations are:


-- $8,000 for the Neighborhood Action Team, which had requested $16,000. The group would fund such projects as movies in the park, two community gardens and tenant rights training.


-- $3,000 for the YWCA for its Women’s Economic Empowerment Center.


-- $3,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Janesville after-school adventure program.


-- $3,000 for the summer camp scholarship program. Agencies such as the Boy Scouts of America get money so low-income residents can attend their camps.


-- $2,000 for the Literacy Connection.


None of the agencies received the full amount requested, Petruzzello said.


“I think it was a difficult decision for CDA members,” Petruzzello said. “They noted that all the proposals submitted were for worthwhile projects.”


Two agencies received no money: the Girl Scouts of Badger Council, which had requested funding for the Girls Who Rock program, and the Salvation Army for its Pathways transitional housing program.


City staff had asked for money to fund an anti-poverty project. Staff, Community Action, United Way and the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin are working to bring a poverty forum to Janesville in spring and have applied for grants for the forum, Petruzzello said.


The funding requested by city staff would have been seed money for any project that grew out of the forum. CDA members said they hope the council will include the money in the general fund budget, Petruzzello said.



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