Selectboard logo, May 20, 2019

UPDATED Jan. 27: Mallory Sullivan, Arlington’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) administrator, provided an update about the town’s CDBG performance and next fiscal year’s requests to the Select Board at its Jan. 24 meeting, and the board unanimously accepted them.

CDBG funds provide many uses and benefits for numerous households, especially those of low and moderate income. This is the town’s 47th year as a CDBG recipient. 

“This year, $1.1 million is allocated, which enables us to impact the town in these particular times of need. All projects all underway and moving forward,” said Sullivan.

In a memo to the Select Board, Sullivan wrote, “CDBG subrecipients are community and town organizations that provide stable housing, public services, economic-development opportunities and accessible and safe infrastructure that help create a stronger, more livable, and more resilient Arlington.” 

“Our typical entitlement grants are for affordable-housing project capital improvements, the Department of Public Works, Food Link, Arlington Eats and Arlington public school tutoring programs and scholarships. Draft housing plans will be finalized this spring,” said Sullivan.

“Public-service programming has provided essential health, recreation, employment training, after-school, and transportation services to 848 Arlington residents since July 1, 2021. This represents an achievement of 66 percent of the collective goal for public services so far this year,” added Sullivan. 

Board member Diane Mahon, a CDBG committee representative, said, “We get a lot for our money.” 

Added board member John Hurd, another CDBG committee representative, “I appreciate seeing where the money is going. One of the most important things that the Select Board does is hand out money.”

FY2023 funding requests

Sullivan provided an overview of the grant requests for fiscal 2023, which begins in July, as does Arlington’s fiscal year. See the requests >>

“We’re expecting $1.1 million, which is what we received last year. We’ve received 19 requests, for both new and returning projects. Our next step is to convene a CDBG subcommittee, and then review these applications and determine the allocations,” said Sullivan.

Select Board Chair Steve DeCourcey said the subcommittee will come back and present recommendations at later time.

CDBG applicants

At the meeting, several CDBG applicants requested funds:

  • Larry Slotnick, Food Link facilities manager, says the nonprofit needs an ever-increasing amount of food. “We distribute food to 45 agencies and small food banks in both Arlington and surrounding communities. Last year’s funding helped us to buy an emergency backup generator. This year, we want to install a solar panel rooftop that will go a long way to making our building closer to being net zero.” 
  • Carla Bruzzese, Arlington public schools director of English language learning, requested a CDBG grant to establish a family welcome center to advance access and equity. “This will help our schools obtain technology and to help marginalized families access information.” 
  • Kevin Flood, Arlington Boys and Girls Club, said, “This past year, we funded scholarships for 51 children from 35 families. Our jobs program currently has 14 enrolled, providing valuable on-the-job training. For the year ahead, we’re requesting funds for our scholarship program and upcoming summer programs.”
  • Lisa Urben, Fidelity House youth program director, said, “CDBG support is life-changing for our Menotomy Manor and Fidelity House outreach programs. Our programs aim to get as many kids involved in the community and provide two weeks of day camp during the summer. Our Jobs, Jobs, Jobs program helps kids get involved in career preparation, and learn things that we wants our kids to know.”
  • Jack Nagle, Arlington Housing Authority (AHA) executive director, requested funds to replace the roof at the Hauser Building, 37 Drake Road, an AHA state-aided senior low-income public housing development. 
  • Kristine Shah, Council on Aging executive director, applied for three grants to provide funds for: (1) adult day health program scholarships; (2) transportation to medical and other appointments, grocery shopping, social visits and senior programs; and (3) a volunteer coordinator position, overseeing more than 300 volunteers. 
  • Sarah Fendrick, Caritas Community grants manager, said, “Caritas Community houses low-income residents, of which approximately 70 percent are formerly homeless, and are really needy and grateful to live in a community like Arlington. CDBG funds make improvements that we couldn’t otherwise afford because we have low reserves.”
Watch the whole Jan. 24 meeting on ACMi:

Jan. 20, 2022: ARPA rule changes means town can claim $10M in losses

This news summary, by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert, was published Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, and updated Jan. 27, to add an ACMi video window.