Safford Council mulls how to spend $272k in CDBG money

Thirty-nine percent of Safford households qualify as low-to moderate-income, and the City Council is considering how to spend $272,000 in CDBG funding to help those families. - Contributed Photo/SEAGO

SAFFORD — The big loser in the Safford City Council’s discussion Monday about using community block grants appears to be sidewalks.

The council held a public hearing on the process and possible uses for nearly $272,000 in CDBG funds the city will receive in 2022.

“Use can use them for facilities, improvements to parks as Safford has done in the past, libraries, senior centers, health clinics, emergency service providers, shelters for victims of domestic violence or homeless shelters,” said Keith Dennis, Community Development program manager for SEAGO.

The requirement for CDBG funds are they have to benefit low to moderate income residents, eliminate slum or blight conditions, or serve an urgent health or safety need.

Dennis said the federal guidelines show a family of four with a household income of $51,000 or less is considered low to moderate income, and 39 percent of Safford residents fall into that low to moderate income category.

City staff suggested some of the funds could be used to extend or complete various sidewalk projects in the community; however the City Council wanted more discussion and input on what the public would like to see done with the money.

The items will come up for discussion again during a council work session Friday, starting at 8 a.m. Once the council decides on preferred projects, the city will hold multiple public hearings before making a final decision.