MOUNT VERNON – City of Mount Vernon Mayor, Matt Starr announced that Mount Vernon was recently awarded $1,400,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnership (HOME) funds. Funds will be allocated where $750,000 will go to the Program Year (PY) 2020 Community Housing Impact and Improvement Program (CHIP), $500,000 PY 2020 CDBG Critical Infrastructure Grant and $150,000 in CDBG Allocation funds from the Ohio Development Services Agency, Office of Community Development.
“This comes as good news to Mount Vernon,” said Starr. “Getting our federal tax dollars back into our community is always a plus because it allows us to leverage and prioritize other projects, too.”
The $750,000 CHIP program provides home repair assistance in partnership with Knox County, which will provide $368,000 to rehabilitate approximately 8 homes, $225,000 for 15 home repairs, $37,000 for tenant-based rental assistance, $30,000 to help Habitat for Humanity build one home and $90,000 for fair housing and administration. Income eligible homeowners located anywhere in Knox County are encouraged to apply for the assistance. The income threshold varies by size of household. For a 1-person household, it is $36,700; and a 4-person household is $52,400. Anyone interested in applying for the assistance should contact the Knox Metropolitan Housing Authority at (740) 397-8787 for additional information.
Mount Vernon also received a $500,000 PY 2020 Critical Infrastructure Grant to reconstruct the S. Catherine/Oak Street intersection. The project will rebuild the brick street, sidewalks, water and sewer along S. Catherine Street between E. Vine and E. Gambier Streets and along Oak Street between Potwin and George Streets.
“We’re in budget talks right now as well as deciding when to bid this project,” said Starr. “Because it does not require asphalt, there is a good possibility that we could start work on this project late winter.”
The total project cost is $1,647,000 with the City’s water and sewer utility funds and general funds providing the balance.
The City’s $150,000 PY 2020 CDBG Allocation Grant will replace sidewalks along N. Sandusky Street between Pleasant and Franklin Streets. The new sidewalks will connect to $1.5 million in improvements planned for the N. Sandusky, Belmont Street and Tilden Avenue intersections. Mount Vernon has been awarded ODOT funds to undertake the intersection improvements which include sidewalks along N. Sandusky Street south to Franklin Street.
The City plans to complete the infrastructure projects in 2021. The CHIP housing funds are available through the end of 2022; however, due to the demand, interested applicants are encouraged to get on the waiting list as soon as possible.