County to apply for $1.1M in block grants


Sussex County Council held a public hearing on the Community Development Block Grant program at their meeting this week. The Community Development and Housing Department of Sussex County applies for the grant funding on behalf of local municipalities that request assistance from the county on behalf of their residents and on the behalf of county residents.

The department’s funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Delaware State Housing Authority, and the Sussex County Council.

After the hearing on Tuesday, the county council approved resolutions allowing County Administrator Todd Lawson to apply for approximately $1.1 million in funding for housing rehabilitation projects in towns from Frankford to Selbyville to Georgetown.

The majority of projects for which funding is being requested are housing rehabilitations requested through the towns and unincorporated areas in the county, with the exception of an infrastructure project in Georgetown and a demolition project in Bridgeville.

County officials said that, presently, there are about 1,150 projects, countywide, that are on the waiting list to get repairs made. The grants are made to low-income property owners who meet income qualifications and who need basic repairs done on their homes.

Also at the Jan. 31 council meeting, Finance Director Susan Webb reported that the financial review of the county budget for the past six months (ending Dec. 31, 2011) showed a “modest $390,000 positive at this point.”

Breaking it out, she explained that the county is 4.8 percent in the positive for revenues, or about $1.1 million over budget. For expenditures, they are 3.25 percent, or about $768,000, short of the budgeted figure, “which is good,” she said.

“We have to keep our eyes on the revenues. It is still flat and tight, but so far, so good,” she said.

For more information on the Community Development Block Grant program, visit www.sussexcountyde.gov online.