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City seeks public’s help with CDBG plan

STEUBENVILLE — If you live in Steubenville, Urban Projects Director Chris Petrossi wants your help identifying goals and priorities for the Community Development Block Grant program.

Petrossi said the city needs to put together the its five-year consolidated plan. Required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, it’s a document identifying a community’s housing, community development and economic development needs as well as resources to address those needs during a five-year period.

Petrossi said they’re already planning public hearings to gather information and ideas, though he hasn’t designated dates yet.

But, unlike past years where they also mailed print surveys to a random sampling of residents and hoped for a response, this year he’s asking anyone who lives in Steubenville to fill out a short online survey.

“We’re looking for people to help us identify goals and priorities,” he said.

The survey is available on the city’s website: Just go to cityofsteubenville.us, then click the arrow on the public notices banner at the top of the page. Keep clicking until you get to the “Online Citizen Questionaire.”

“It’s very important,” Petrossi said. “It will help guide the planning process for our five-year plan.”

He said they’ll also do a separate survey with public agencies and nonprofits that provide services in the area of housing, economic and community development.

“In combination, those two surveys will help guide the process,” he said.

Petrossi said the information is crucial, pointing out in the past CDBG funds have been used for:

∫ Recreation projects like the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center construction and renovation; North End Field, playground and restrooms; Murphy Park restrooms and lighting; Beatty Park shelter rehabilitation, restrooms, playgrounds and for paving the access road; and rehabbing the pool and constructing restrooms at the ballfields at Belleview Park.

∫ Infrastructure projects, including street paving projects on the hilltop and downtown; North End streetscaping; and a low-pressure water tank on Adams Street for the water system.

∫ Housing projects, including the Historic Facade Rehabilitation program in the central business district; housing rehabilitation at Cathedral Apartments; and Urban Mission’s Hutton House.

“Those are just some things CDBG money has been spent on in the past,” he said. “I think it’s important for people to know what CDBG funds were used for in the past and that they can help with the process by completing a survey,” Petrossi said. “It’s a chance to be included in the process and in future CDBG strategies and project priorities.”

Residents have until Feb. 29 to complete the survey, which asks users to rate the quality of their neighborhood, identify issues facing their communities; and what activities would improve your neighborhood the most.

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