Citizens District Council Minutes 08-17-2010

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                                     MINUTES
Citizen’s District Council Meeting
City of Muskegon CDBG
Conference Room 203
Muskegon, Michigan
Tuesday, August 17, 2010


CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by Pat Montney at 5:49 p.m.

ROLL CALL

Roll call was taken by Liz Parker.

Present:             Patricia Montney, Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad, Virgie Jackson,
                     Thomas Pastoor, Addie Sanders-Randall

Absent:              Tiffany Seals, Stephen Gawron

Excused:             Ned Carter, Amy Varnado

Staff Present:       Oneata Bailey, Liz Parker


APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Pat Montney is asking Liz to pull the minutes (July 17, 2010) because there is an area that
needs to be added back into the minutes. Under the Five-year Consolidated Plan on
pages 3 and 4 Cathy Brubaker-Clarke made mention the goals were the City goals. Pat
made mention it was community input that was the biggest part of the goals as well. Tom
Pastoor added when Pat said City, she means the City leaders and City Commission and
the City goals that are made up of the community and the City Commission. Pat agreed.
Tom thinks what the CDC is doing is in line with what HUD would have them do under the
Citizen Participation section. Pat wants to delay the approval of the July 17, 2010 minutes
until this clarification gets back into the minutes. Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad asked
Pat to state verbally what she wants back in the minutes. Cathy Brubaker-Clarke was
talking about the Consolidated Plan is the City’s goals. It is the community’s goals.


OLD BUSINESS

        NIC – 2010-2011 HOME
Pat Montney asked Oneata Bailey for an update on NIC’s (Neighborhood Investment
Corporation) funding since the Chronicle stated they were in trouble. Oneata said NIC is
now close. The two women, who were the only staff left and who were doing foreclosures,
were looking for an agency to absorb them. They asked CNS if they could come into the
City; but, when the City Manager opens up an office to an entity he expects payment,
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which there is no way CNS could absorb any agency unless they could financially support
themselves. One lady relocated to Lansing while the other is at her home and offered to
help if we have a homebuyer who needs assistance and we would pay her directly. What
CNS found out from MSHDA is that NIC was being given money to provide services to the
community. Now that those services are not being provided by them, Community
enCompass said they would like to take over where NIC left off. MSHDA has agreed to
allow them to absorb some of those programs. One of them is homebuyer programs if a
person needs their home rehabbed. In the meantime, CNS is holding the HOME funds
that were identified to go to NIC. NIC’s board president didn’t want to close but because
they didn’t have any income they had to close. NIC does have some funds coming in from
their rentals above their office. Through the grant process our CHDO’s (Community
Housing Development Organizations), Community enCompass, Muskegon County Habitat
for Humanity and NIC were awarded HOME funds. Tom Pastoor added that some years
NIC wasn’t always able to use all the money. Oneata said they still were awarded money
again this year but then they closed after they signed the agreement. Rasheedah
Gillespie-Mohammad asked if NIC still had the money from before. Oneata explained the
money gets taken back if it’s not used at the end of every grant year. If there are any
programs CNS has, then they use that money themselves to cover their expenses. We
are currently holding $30,000. Rasheedah wanted to know if those funds could go to
Community enCompass. Oneata said no because they were set aside for NIC. Tom
asked if Community enCompass is doing the work of NIC are they getting compensated by
MSHDA? Oneata said they are being compensated through MSHDA. CNS’s HOME
funds are an agreement between an agency and the City for specific things and don’t have
anything to do with MSHDA. MSHDA took back their funds from NIC. Community
enCompass said they wanted to do the work and MSHDA said yes. Community
enCompass has also asked CNS if they could have NIC’s HOME funds but they will sit
until the end of the grant year. Tom then asked if someone will make a decision at the end
of the grant year that the money goes for some other purpose. Oneata said yes, but it is
only for HOME projects, not CDBG projects. HOME funds are meant to produce a home
unit. Tim Burgess, who was the Executive Director of NIC, is now working at the Land
Bank. Rasheedah wanted to know since Tim was now with the Land Bank will that agency
go in the direction of NIC. Oneata explained the agreement for HOME funds was with
NIC, not the Land Bank. NIC’s board hopes they can reopen. Currently everyone NIC
was working with received a letter just before they closed. NIC has until May 31, 2011 to
reopen and get HOME funds from CNS.


NEW BUSINESS

         Review CAPER 2009 – 2010 Progress – Muskegon and Norton Shores
The CAPER that was last submitted was edited and updated with the new information for
all the programs and accomplishments of last year.        We will be three days late in
submitting the CAPER because of the public notices we had to put in the Chronicle vs.
their deadline schedule. Tom Pastoor asked to explain the difference between Operation
R & R goals and objectives and the other goals and objectives listed in the CAPER. He
thought the R&R was to support the other goals. Oneata said that is correct. She said Wil
Griffin set out to establish something new, which was Operation R & R, to build a
foundation from which the Academic Olympics was going to be placed. It was a way to get
out into the community. Tom said this was a way for Wil to get someone else to shepherd
the activities besides the schools, but everyone to jump on board including banks and
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businesses. Banks, schools and businesses weren’t able to offer what they would have
liked because everyone was cutting back. This was to specifically help kids by tickling
their brains just before they go back to school and take the MEAP Test. It would be
interesting to see the difference in test scores with the Academic Olympics vs. not having
the Academic Olympics. Tom said there are also other ways to encourage kids especially
when you look at how much money was spent for the event; did you get enough return on
your invest. Of course, any return on kids is worth it. Is there a better way?

Pat Montney noticed on page 16 of the CAPER that Streets had $0 spent and wanted to
know where that unspent money goes. Oneata said she would have to ask the Finance
Clerk. Tom said after the books are closed he would really like to see the numbers of what
really happened. Oneata said that information would be available after June. Pat thought
IDIS reports would show the information. Oneata said the HOME IDIS reports show your
accomplishments. She was not familiar with the CDBG IDIS reports. The question was
asked what IDIS stands for. It is Integrated Disbursement & Information System. Tom
asked if there is other federal money available. Oneata said there is ESG (homeless) and
HOWPA (native Indians), which the City does not get. There is also CDBG-R (stimulus
funds), which was used to pave White Avenue. Tom asked if they wanted to do something
for more integration with the community and community involvement in the decision
making and spending money then it would have to be with CDBG funds. Oneata
confirmed it would be CDBG funds. CNS does not get other funds other then CDBG for
that purpose. Pat asked where the unspent money would go. Oneata advised it would go
for programs that are over budget, such as Emergency Repair. Tom said that is what he’d
like to see; where money was budgeted to go vs. where it was really spent. Oneata said
this would be something perfect for the fall when communities come in to ask for grants
and we can say: “this is what you spent last year.” This could be a reason to give more of
less money to an organization. What Oneata would like to do differently this November is
possibly to ask for the grant applications in October and give us time in January to have
the grant review meetings and not always running into the latter part of the reporting time.
This would help in keeping with the timeline. Tom said one of the things Wil tried to do
was use money for graffiti removal and have other ways to use federal funds to supplant
what is already being done by the City. Tom said one example is the $1,500 that the
neighborhood associations receive from the City. Perhaps that money could come from
CDBG funds and save the City some money. Pat said in the past her neighborhood
association received funds for their fire barn for the roof, but not all the neighborhood
associations are 501 (c) 3. Rasheedah asked if NAM has a 501 (c) 3. Liz explained only
the individual neighborhood associations can have the 501 (c) 3. If the association budget
is under $2,500, they don’t need the designation. However, if they want to apply for grants
then they need to be a 501 (c) 3.

Pat asked about page 17 that Weatherization spent $0. She felt there should be a notation
that those funds were amended to moved to the Lead program. Oneata said this was
absorbed in the Lead Abatement program. Some of the lead abatement costs for some of
the households were much more than anticipated. The funds were moved from HOME to
the lead program. Pat felt it should have come to the CDC for vote before it went to the
Commission. It was also mentioned the graffiti money from CDBG did not go before the
CDC.

Tom said Oneata did a good job on the CAPER. Oneata commented on the last page with
the picture of the statue at the traffic circle at Western and Third (Muskegon Rising
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Together). It has a nice theme that together we can rise to do what we need to do in this
community and hopefully this next year will prove to be that much more successful.


OTHER BUSINESS

Liz reminded everyone she hadn’t received the changes people wanted to the grant
applications besides the summary page. If people want to make comments for the
CAPER, please email them to Liz before the end of the month.

There will not be a meeting in September.


ADJOURNMENT

Pat Montney adjourned the meeting at 6:31 p.m.

Respectively submitted,

Liz Parker
Community and Neighborhood Services
City of Muskegon




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