The city of Como was given approval in the first round of screening for a $30,000 grant program that could help make extensive improvements to municipal facilities.
The Ark-Tex Council of Governments Executive Committee recently reviewed the city’s Community Development Block Grant Program application, finding it met all requirements, which recommends it for the state grant through the Office of Rural Community Affairs, according to Hopkins County Judge Cletis Millsap, who is a member of the executive committee.
The city of Como is applying to the Texas Community Development Block Grant Program for a $30,240 grant to develop a comprehensive plan to “assist the elected officials in formulating a policy to deal with local business, industry, population and residents.”
The city cites a lack of manpower and finances for basic functions such as enforcement of codes and ordinances as a stumbling block to updating base maps which would identify utilities that need to be updated and expanded for future growth.
If the Office of Rural Community Affairs is awarded enough funding and approves Como’s application, the project would benefit the 634 city residents, including 370 from low to moderate income households. The application asks for $28,800 from the Office of Rural Community Affairs, and would require the city to put up the remaining $1,440 for the project.
Included in the project budget is $8,440 for mapping, land use housing and population; $2,200 for street conditions; $4,200 each toward a study of the water distribution and supply system, a study of wastewater collection and treatment, and study of drainage in streets and flood hazard areas; $1,900 for capital improvements; and $1,700 each for parks and recreation, zoning ordinances and subdivision regulation. Design Services Inc. would be hired for planning assistance as needed to carry out these studies and mapping projects.
The city improvement plan, according to the grant application, includes 12 separate elements:
1. Develop an updated base map to record existing facilities and future plans.
2. Record past and existing population with a forecast to base future facility and utility projects on.
3. Record existing housing structures on a base map, and prepare a plan to assist the city in improving local housing needs.
4. Record all land uses and include the findings on a map; make projections of various land use categories and prepare a future land use map.
5. Survey all streets for existing conditions, type of surface and surface width of each paved street and prepare a future street map showing recommendations to improve the system.
6-8. Record the water system, wastewater system and existing drainage system on base maps, then analyze the supply, storage and collection system to determine deficiencies in the system and areas where future improvements will be needed in the next 10 to 20 years to eliminate problems.
9. Record the recreation facilities on a base map, then determine deficiencies in the system and areas where future parks and recreation improvements will be needed in the next 10 to 20 years.
10. Record the city’s financial conditions, revenues, expenses and determine future revenues, expenses and sources of funding of needed projects recommended in the studies.
11. Develop technical material suitable for formulating into a zoning ordinance for adoption. A zoning map would be developed to represent the city’s land use development.
12. Develop technical material suitable for formulating into a subdivision ordinance for adoption, what will serve the city in the design of streets, lots and blocks for future development.
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