Casey calls on Congress to support block grants
Updated On: Jul 18 2013 08:47:35 PM CDT
The battle of the block grant is going down in Washington.
A budget proposal in the House would cut some funding for local projects.
But it's being met with resistance from the Senate.
The folks in Washington are drawing up the budget for next year and the way things look now, community development block grants are poised to be chopped in half.
Allentown is just one of many cities that counts on federal community development block grants for all kinds of programs and projects.
Last year the Queen City received $1.9 million in CDBG funds for things like the after-school program at St. Luke's Neighborhood Center, residential facade grants along the city's 7th street corridor and operating costs for the Sixth Street Shelter to name just a few.
But an early budget proposal in the House could cut CDBG funds in half next year.
"We are dealing with a sequester as you are probably aware and that has put a lot of pressure on a lot of these domestic discretionary programs," said Congressman Charlie Dent.
Dent says CDBG funds have been a powerful community and economic driver in the Lehigh Valley.
Dent says the House is trying to reach a broader budget agreement that re-distributes the cuts elsewhere, hopefully in the end, leaving the CDBG funds intact.
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and several other Pennsylvania mayors are now backing a call by Democratic Senator Bob Casey for Congress to adequately fund CDBG.
"That has a substantial impact in the ability of people of Allentown to decide how we are going to move forward how we are going to invest at a time when a lot of communities still aren't out of the woods when it comes to the unemployment rate or economic activity," said Casey.
The new fiscal year just started.
Allentown officials say this year, CDBG funds are slightly up.
Dent says he hopes as the appropriations process moves forward CDBG funds will be restored.
Copyright 2013 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
City's "ugly" Christmas tree causes controversy
WWII vet shoots wife, kills self, Allentown police say
State police seek missing Palmerton teen
Local residents urged to be on alert for high levels of deadly gas
One year since mysterious disappearance of local woman
Construction worker struck by vehicle on turnpike
2nd truck drops into sinkhole in Bethlehem Twp. neighborhood
Fundraiser planned for teen injured in crash
Education fund set up for crash victim's young sons
Lafayette pounds Lehigh in 150th meeting, 27-7