The projects selected for 2019-20 Community Development Block Grant funding include costs for eight revitalization committees throughout the county including Lakeside and Spring Valley, and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors also seeks to fund San Diego County Regional Fire Authority projects which are currently on the alternative list.
The supervisors’ 5-0 vote April 9 approved the plan and authorized the acceptance of the funds expected to be awarded.
An additional recommendation directed the county’s Chief Administrative Officer to review the list of alternative projects to see if funding might be available from the CDBG program or from other sources. The allocations include $10,714 for the revitalization committees.
Community Development Block Grant projects are intended to revitalize lower-income communities.
The proposals were selected based on criteria which include benefit to lower-income residents, health and safety considerations, the ability to leverage block grant funds into additional revenue, and availability of alternate funding sources.
The allocations are based on 2019-20 entitlement figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which provides funding for the programs.
The supervisors allocated $681,680 for a Fallbrook park, a sidewalk project in Lincoln Acres, and disabled access improvements for Ramona Town Hall.
An additional $2,333,640 was earmarked for eight regional projects including housing projects and the revitalization committees throughout the county.
The CDBG allocations also include $667,000 for planning and administration.
The county also administers the CDBG program for six incorporated cities as well as for the unincorporated area and for regional projects.
Although the projects will likely be exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review, the Federal funding makes them subject to National Environmental Protection Act review which could include a finding of no significant impact.
In February 1996 the Board of Supervisors activated a community revitalization program for several unincorporated communities in San Diego County. The committees include regular meetings, coordination of community resources, and direct connection to county staff and resources.
After the committee establishes goals committee members work with county staff to achieve those goals based on available resources.
Community revitalization committees are currently active in Lakeside, Spring Valley, Alpine, the East County backcountry, and Ramona, A March 12 Board of Supervisors vote directed the county’s Chief Administrative Officer to establish and activate revitalization committees for Borrego Springs, Fallbrook, and Valley Center.
The $10,714 CDBG allocation for the revitalization committees includes $714 for environmental review.
“These will bring county resources to the community,” said Supervisor Jim Desmond. “These communities don’t have locally-elected officials, so we want to make sure their voice is being heard.”
Although the official motion was to direct the Chief Administrative Officer to review the entire list to determine if funding was available, the Board of Supervisors discussion focused on the San Diego County Regional Fire Authority projects.
“They depend on us 100 percent,” Desmond said. “I’d like to see that they are taken care of.”
One of those SDCRFA projects would purchase security boxes to allow fire and emergency response vehicles to enter residential and business gates with security boxes.