Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Coolidge City Council refines process to gain historic rehab grant funds

[Source: Casa Grande Valley Newspapers] -- On July 24, the Coolidge City Council authorized Finance Director Lisa Pannella to sign a form revising the application cover sheet sent to the Arizona Department of Housing asking to change the city's downtown rehabilitation program budget. Last year the city received a $134,840 grant received last year through the Community Development Block Grant program to "rehabilitate" facades of businesses in the Main Street historic district between Central and Coolidge avenues, but the budget as proposed by the city did not have a specific line item for hiring an architect, instead having a $22,140 line item for "in-house rehabilitation services."

City Grants Coordinator Jill Dusenberry told the council that the state's historic preservation officer, James Garrison, had encouraged the city to hire an architect experienced in doing historic rehabilitations, and she needed $18,942 to meet the winning bid. That amount was transferred from other areas of the budget, including $1,940.67 from the $2,000 designated for performing an environmental review. Dusenberry told a surprised Councilman Gilbert Lopez that she had personally done the work on the environmental review, so the only cost had been $59.33 for purchasing specialized publications.