Up­per Marl­boro seek­ing $60,000 to fund fa­cade im­prove­ments

Grant money from state not ex­pected un­til spring 2017

The Enquire-Gazette - - Front Page - By JOHNATHON CLINKSCALES jclinkscales@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @JClink_En­qGaz

The Town of Up­per Marl­boro’s Sus­tain­able Com­mu­ni­ties Work­group (SCW) held a meet­ing Tues­day in Up­per Marl­boro to con­tinue re­view­ing sub­mis­sions and re­im­burse­ments for the town’s Fa­cade Im­prove­ment Pro­gram, along with a re­view and im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Town Ac­tion Plan.

Mary­land-Na­tional Cap­i­tal Park and Plan­ning Com­mis­sion Com­mu­nity Plan­ning Divi­sion Plan­ner Co­or­di­na­tor Christina R. Pompa led the meet­ing as SCW Chair­man Steve Son­net, Com­mis­sioner Linda Pen­noyer and Alice El­lis-Wil­liams, prin­ci­pal owner of Al­tro En­ter­prise based in Up­per Marl­boro, lis­tened and asked questions. No res­i­dents were in at­ten­dance. Town Clerk M. David Wil­liams was present to take notes.

“The Mary­land De­part­ment of Hous­ing and Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment [DHCD] had the dead­line for the [fis­cal year 2017] FY17 Commu- nity Le­gacy Grant Fund­ing cy­cle. The dead­line was July 15,” said Pompa as she gave her open­ing re­marks. “I as­sisted the town in pre­par­ing an ap­pli­ca­tion for ad­di­tional fund­ing and this year we asked for $60,000. I think it was a fairly good ap­pli­ca­tion ef­fort. The ques­tion is how they will dis­trib­ute the fi­nanc­ing that they have. … We prob­a­bly will not hear from DHCD un­til Novem­ber or De­cem­ber about which projects have been awarded. Also, we prob­a­bly will not have an ex­e­cuted agree­ment with them un­til the spring of next year like May or June. So FY17 money will not be avail­able un­til prob­a­bly 10 or 11 months from now if the town re­ceives an award.”

The Com­mu­nity Le­gacy pro­gram pro­vides lo­cal gov­ern­ments and com­mu­nity devel­op­ment or­ga­ni­za­tions with fund­ing — in the form of grants and loans, meant to com­pli­ment and sup­ple­ment other state fund­ing pro­grams — for es­sen­tial projects aimed at strength­en­ing com­mu­ni­ties through ac­tiv­i­ties such as busi­ness re­ten­tion and at­trac­tion, en­cour­ag­ing home­own­er­ship and com­mer­cial re­vi­tal­iza­tion. As a re­sult of the Sus­tain­able Com­mu­ni­ties Act of 2010, Com­mu­nity Le­gacy Ar­eas are now known as Sus­tain­able Com­mu­ni­ties, ac­cord­ing to Mary­land’s DHCD web­site.

Pompa said there were four Fa­cade Im­prove­ment Pro­gram projects that were ap­proved last year as part of the ini­tial FY15 money. From the orig­i­nal $35,000, there is about $16,732.63 worth of re­im­burse­ment, she said.

“Those projects are all com­pleted and the re­im­burse­ments have been pro­cessed and the ap­pli­cants have been paid,” Pompa said.

There are cur­rently five other projects which have been ap­proved for FY15, but aren’t pro­jected to be com­pleted un­til later this year by Dec. 31. A to­tal of $813.36 will be the re­main­ing bal­ance once all nine of the FY15 projects are ac­counted for, ac­cord­ing to a bud­get break­down sheet cre­ated by Pompa.

“Ten­ants un­der the town pro­gram are el­i­gi­ble for up to 70 per­cent fund­ing and so those projects have also gone to DHCD,” Pompa said. “They’ve come back and the ap­pli­cants were no­ti­fied of their award.”

In ad­di­tion, there is cur­rently one project wait­ing to be re­viewed by the Fa­cade Im­prove­ment Pro­gram com­mit­tee for FY15 fund­ing and four projects for FY16 fund­ing. None of those projects have been ap­proved by the Town of Up­per Marl­boro or sent to the de­part­ment, ac­cord­ing to Pompa.

Pompa said the one FY15 project, in which the ap­pli­cant has re­quested an amount of $14,104.37, will cre­ate a deficit of about $13,291.01.

“We have not started spend­ing any of the FY16 money. The first nine projects that have been ap­proved have all come out of FY15,” she said. “We have to ac­count for all of our money down to the penny.”

“The bot­tom line is that we ap­proved and will for­ward to the Mary­land De­part­ment of Hous­ing and Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment three ap­pli­ca­tions — they are 14749 Main Street, 5302-5308 Wa­ter Street and 14711 Main Street,” Son­net said as he briefed Town Pres­i­dent James Storey in a sep­a­rate board work ses­sion. “If those are ap­proved, we will have fin­ished off the fund­ing avail­able from the FY15 grant. We will have ap­prox­i­mately $3,454 left in the FY16 grant which we have but we’ve got other projects that are in the pipe­line for that. … The num­ber of sus­tain­able com­mu­ni­ties is grow­ing so there will be more ap­pli­ca­tions. We’ll see how it goes. I think we’ve demon­strated that we can han­dle the pro­gram and that we’re get­ting good re­sults from it.”

STAFF PHOTO BY JOHNATHON CLINKSCALES

Mary­land-Na­tional Cap­i­tal Park and Plan­ning Com­mis­sion Com­mu­nity Plan­ning Divi­sion Plan­ner Co­or­di­na­tor Christina R. Pompa leads a dis­cus­sion July 26 with Town of Up­per Marl­boro’s Sus­tain­able Com­mu­ni­ties Work­group Chair­man Steve Son­net, left; Com­mis­sioner Linda Pen­noyer; Alice El­lis-Wil­liams, prin­ci­pal owner of Al­tro En­ter­prise based in Up­per Marl­boro; and Town Clerk M. David Wil­liams. Pompa helped the town sub­mit an ap­pli­ca­tion to the Mary­land De­part­ment of Hous­ing and Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment’s Com­mu­nity Le­gacy pro­gram, re­quest­ing $60,000 for its FY17 Fa­cade Im­prove­ment Pro­gram. If awarded the grant, which is not ex­pected un­til spring 2017, the town will use the money to fund five projects — one for FY15 and four for FY16 — which are cur­rently wait­ing to be re­viewed by the Fa­cade Im­prove­ment Pro­gram com­mit­tee.

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