Ideas vary on how to spend federal grants during city's recent public "brainstorming" sessionsThe city of Woodbury recently held two public "brainstorming" sessions to get feedback on what it should do when it gets control of a pot of federal funding, estimated at $1 million for 2010 and about $250,000 in subsequent years.
By: Scott Wente, Woodbury Bulletin
Start an arts center near East Ridge High School. Develop affordable housing projects. Build a neighborhood playground. Send the money back to the deficit-plagued federal government.
Those are among suggestions for what the city of Woodbury should do when it gets control of a pot of federal funding, estimated at $1 million for 2010 and about $250,000 in subsequent years.
There are many ideas for how the money should be spent but no consensus priority so far, city housing specialist Karl Batalden said after Woodbury officials held two recent public “brainstorming” sessions and fielded e-mails and phone calls on the issue.
“Everybody understands that a million dollars sounds like a lot of money, but it really goes pretty quickly when you’re putting it into programs,” Batalden said.
The issue arose when Woodbury became eligible – as a 50,0000-plus-population city – to administer federal housing and community development funds. Previously, Washington County used Woodbury’s population to leverage federal grant funds. The county decided how to spend that money.
City council members in January will make their own suggestions for how the money should be spent. City staff then will draft a plan that will be available for public review in spring of 2010. Woodbury expects to start receiving the money in July 2010, Batalden said.
“I think certainly right now there’s a wide variety of possible uses for the funds,” he said.