Upper Marlboro seeking $60,000 to fund facade improvements
Grant money from state not expected until spring 2017
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.”
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.