The Arcata City Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to direct staff to move forward with finishing a communication block grant application for $1.2 million in housing, business and planning and technical assistance funds.
”I think you boiled it down to the most fundable projects,” Councilwoman Susan Ornelas said. “We've had a lot of conversations about these. I'm supportive.”
The proposed projects include $500,000 for a business loan program and $100,000 in planning and technical assistance funds to build an industrial park on the Happy Valley Industrial Park property and a condominium-style complex in the Aldergrove Industrial Park to sell to private, local companies who want to own property. A housing project for about $600,000 in roofing, siding, stairwell and other major capital repairs to the low-income Juniper Apartments is also included.
”Staff supports the Juniper Apartment rehabilitation project (Housing Humboldt has) proposed,” Loya said. “They've served the community well, and fit well within the program to be competitive.”
The Windsong Duplex is no longer a component, Loya said.
The council had previously considered $1 million in sewer repairs, but after using census data to identify low-income blocks in Sunny Brae, determined the project wouldn't meet the 90 percent low-income target group to be competitive enough to be funded.
The grants are federally funded, but administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Arcata has used them for years.
”We've been very successful in the past; I'm hoping to be successful here, too,” Mayor Mark Wheetley said.
Loya said staff will return on March 19th with a resolution to submit the application.
In other business, the council unanimously voted to send a letter addressing the sentencing guidelines for environmental destructive marijuana “trespass grows” on public and private grows to the United States Sentencing Commission. North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman solicited the council's support.
The council will meet again on March 19 for its regularly scheduled meeting.
Lorna Rodriguez can be reached at 441-0506 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @LornaARodriguez.