Acceptance of Community Development Block Grant Funds

Cities thrive on Grants. Grants are not inherently a bad thing. Please take a few moments and read the paperwork submitted,I assume, with the grant application.

Here is the resolution. Pretty straightforward. Let’s accept the money.

The devil is in the details. read the attachement.

When you have read this document think about what it is telling you.

The City is getting a grant for $650,000. That is great.

Now look at the administrative costs. Deduct $72,672 for the Code enforcement Officer. That leaves, $577,328. Still a sizeable amount off money.

Now look at the last page, near the bottom. Project delivery and general administration. The cost of setting this up and running it are $162,870. This represents 28.21% of the grant that will go to manage it. That seems awfully high for admin costs.

If we compare this to charity spending what do we find? On average, the best charities spend no more than 15 to 20 percent on overhead and administrative costs.

It just gets worse the more you read and think about the grant. Let’s start over and look at it another way.

The Social services portion will be administered by a social service organization or a social service provider. I see that we apparently followed a bid process. See the statement that reads; The City of Methuen has received proposals from social service providers to provide the following public/social services. I noticed that the total for this is $106,600.

Also I noted that none of the bids were attached and I see under Contracts in the Agenda there are NONE

So let’s remove the social service portion from the total. $650,000 minus $106,600 minus the $1,000 to deliver

That leaves $542,400 for the other projects. Now look at overhead costs. That means they are 29.84%. Even worse

Finally look at the brunt of the project. rehabilitation on 12 un-named properties.

Where are these and why aren’t they identified in the paperwork?

It’s not like we are just starting to take a look at this area of town. Remember why Solomon was fired, mismanagement of grants for … the Arlington Neighborhood

This grant may be an excellent addition to Methuen’s portfolio

We just need to see a bit more information and it wouldn’t hurt if they posted updates on the website as to how these funds are being spent. There is supposed to be an annual audit. This leads to the question—how long is this grant for?

If it is multiyear, then some of the math may be skewed, especially the Enforcement Officer in another post.

Be transparent and open about these grants. That is all we are asking.

admin posted at 2009-10-19 Category: City Council

Leave a Reply

(Ctrl + Enter)