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Block grants enhance quality of life in Arvada.

The city of Arvada, Colo. has been an entitlement city for participation in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) since 1975. The funding received from that program initially increased from 1975 through 1980. However, it has significantly decreased especially when the impact of inflation is factored in through 1991.

The following table provides the annual amount of CDBG amounts received by the city since 1975:
1975 $117,000
1976 259,000
1977 477,000
1978 511,000
1979 555,000
1980 598,000
1981 592,000
1982 505,000
1983 567,000
1984 703,000
1985 528,000
1986 449,000
1987 450,000
1988 424,000
1989 465,420
1990 412,000
1991 464,000

Using CDBG funds has allowed the City of Arvada to carry out a variety of activities:

[Section] Utilizing CDBG, state and private lender funds, the city established the Essential Home Repairs Program for low/moderate income home owners in 1979. To date, $1,279,874 has rehabilitated over 173 housing units utilizing grants and low-interest loans. Over 30 percent of program beneficiaries have been elderly homeowners. It is a program that was only made possible through the availability of CDBG.

[Section] Utilizing CDBG funds, the city built a new 1.3 acre neighborhood park on a developer donated vacant lot adjacent to Park Creek Apartments. This award winning effort included close consultation with apartment residents and even a survey of children to select the facilities to be built. This same effort has taken place in renovating Terrace Park and the Foster Ball Fields in utilizing CDBG funds.

[Section] Utilizing CDBG funds, the city rebuilt a residential street segment which improved sight line distance, added a new sidewalk, curb and gutter, and improved drainage and roadway conditions.

[Section] Utilizing CDBG and various other funds, the city established two neighborhood strategy areas in 1979 and 1984 under the guidance of the Southeast Arvada Neighborhood Development Plan. By 1988, 23 of 25 separate projects were complete at a cost of $5,494,000 covering 418 acres.

[Section] Since 1976, the city has utilized CDBG funds to leverage private investment in the Olde Town section of Arvada and provided needed public improvements.

Without CDBG, a large number of Arvada citizens including the elderly, low income families, small businessmen, the handicapped/disabled and children would be in a great deal of trouble.

Without CDBG, the health and vitality of the city's older residential and commercial distrcts and their associated infrastructure would be in worse condition and declining.

Without CDBG, the quality of life for all citizens in Arvada would be reduced.

The CDBG program IS one of those Federal programs that DOES work. It deserves the full support of Congress.

Lorraine Anderson is a councilwoman from Arvada, Colo.
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Title Annotation:Special Report: Building Blocks for America; Arvada, Colorado
Author:Anderson, Lorraine
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Apr 6, 1992
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