Share this article

print logo

Dunkirk to hire outside help on block grants

DUNKIRK - The city will hire outside help to coordinate the Community Development Block Grant program, officials said Tuesday.
During the regular meeting of the City Council, members approved an agreement with Travis Gordon of Fredonia for $5,000 to provide consulting services and coordinate and develop a five-year plan.
In addition to hiring the consultant, the Council approved hiring H. Sichermann and Company of East Amherst to provide technical and compliance assistance for the federally funded program. The contract with H. Sichermann is for $15,000.
Coordination of the block grant funds was one area cited by auditors who visited the city this summer. According to a report from Mayor A.J. Dolce earlier this summer, several changes were suggested by the auditors to bring the city into better compliance with municipal audit standards.
Dolce said he hopes to have other suggestions from the audit report ready for Council members to consider at the September meeting.
Block grants are used in a variety of areas including housing rehabilitation, streets improvement, and code enforcement. The city will spend $459,815 in the federal funds in these areas. The bulk of block grant funds are earmarked for economic development with more than $120,000 set aside to promote growth.
An additional $100,000 is designated to help owner occupied residences in the city.
Council members have been meeting with various community leaders recently to talk about allocations of the funds and where the money can have the greatest impact.
Other programs slated to receive some funding include the senior citizen center for some parking upgrades and some youth services programs.
A total of $30,000 will be set aside for building demolition.
In other matters, the city has extended its summer concert series by one week and will feature the last concert-on-the-pier at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
The event is free and open to the public.