Vernon considers seeking $600,000 grant

Published: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 02:49 PM.

CHIPLEY — The Vernon City Council held a public hearing and fair housing workshop Monday prior to their regular council meeting to start the grant ball rolling.

Fred Fox, president of Fred Fox Enterprises of St. Augustine, was at the meeting to conduct the fair housing workshop and the public meeting required before the city can begin the process of seeking a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant for the city.

Fox explained the process of applying for a 2013 CDBG grant, and said the deadline for applying is March 2014. “There will probably be a second round of 2014 grants in the fall,” Fox said. He noted that the 2013 application process had been postponed until 2014 by the Legislature.

Fox also ran through a fair housing workshop for the audience, which discussed the history of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The fair housing workshop was also one of the requirements en route to applying for a CDBG grant.

“The first step is for the council to form a citizens’ advisory task force, and have them meet and come up with some possible projects,” Fox said.

The CDBG grants can be used for infrastructure, housing renovations or even economic development, Fox said, but the projects must be of benefit to low income residents.

“In the case of economic development, the city has to have a business pretty much in its pocket, ready to make jobs,” Fox said. The grants for economic development can go up to $3 million based on the number of jobs the new business would bring.

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