News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

Home in Need of Some Minor Repairs? 2013 Minor Home Repair Program Still Accepting Applications

clock January 22, 2013 17:02 by author Jeff Quibell
 

Blue Springs, Mo. – Residents looking to make minor repairs to the exterior of their homes may be eligible to do so through the Blue Springs Minor Home Repair Program. The Minor Home Repair Program (MHRP) will accept applications through Friday, February 1, 2013. The MHRP was developed in response to the City Council's implementation of Blue Springs’ Property Maintenance Code.

The MHRP is designed to offer a program that primarily assists homeowners who do not have the financial means to respond to code violations that may exist at their single-family, residential property. The funding for the program is from the City’s Community Development Block Grant received from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“The Minor Home Repair Program brings value and opportunity to residents and their neighborhoods alike,” said Community Development Director Scott Allen. “Through this program, our goal is to provide some much-needed repairs for those who otherwise may not have the ability to make such improvements.”

The emphasis of the MHRP is on neighborhood conservation, and only minor exterior home repairs are eligible. In 2012, eight participants received grants that totaled over $39,000 to make repairs to their homes. The MHRP encourages a high level of maintenance among property owners in a neighborhood and helps to cure the most visible home defects which may adversely affect the value of the home as well as surrounding properties.

For more information or to apply for the Minor Home Repair Program, contact Lauren Gowdy, Associate Planner at (816) 220-4504 or visit www.bluespringsgov.com/mhrp.

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City Considers Allocation of Block Grant Funds

clock May 30, 2012 16:21 by author Jeff Quibell

When the Federal Government provides funds to local government, there are always strings attached and requirements that must be met to receive those funds.  

When the population of Blue Springs reached 50,000 residents we met the eligibility requirements to receive Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the federal government.  The 2012-2013 budget that begins October 1st includes an estimated $211,866 from this program.   Following a presentation by city staff regarding previous use of CDBG funds at the most recent council meeting, the City Council began the discussion regarding the best use, as allowed by the program, of those funds.

From the time when Blue Springs began receiving CDBG funds we have received nearly one million dollars from the Federal Government and have allocated those funds in the following manner:

  • Parks - $65,000
  • Streetlights - $166,884
  • Sidewalks - $563,299
  • Programs
    • Minor Home Repair - $84,093
    • First Time Home Buyer - $46,837
  • Administration - $5,556

This year we are considering the following opportunities:

  • Historic District Sidewalks - $50,000
  • Main Street Lighting -$75,000
  • Main & 15th St Crosswalks - $50,000
  • Missouri Main Street (Downtown Alive!) - $5,000
  • Downtown Commercial Façade Grant Program - $50,000
  • Historic Building Restoration - $100,000
  • Minor Home Repair Program - $60,000
  • First Time Home Buyer Program - $39,000
  • CDBG Administration Funds - $6,000

As you can see, there are substantially more opportunities than anticipated funding would support, requiring the council to evaluate each opportunity and decide the best options for our community.  This is one of the responsibilities of the city council and, with input from our constituents, the council is able to direct funding to the programs and infrastructure enhancements that meet the goals of the residents of Blue Springs.

Councilman Fowler’s comments Monday evening raised the issue of the importance of balancing the funds between commercial and residential uses.  Balance is a word we frequently hear in politics today, especially at the federal level.  Balance is important, but to be meaningful it must be clearly defined both on the federal level and locally.   Finding the appropriate balance for all funds the city administers within its budget is a complex and lengthy process, as we carefully consider all aspects of balancing the needs and wants of government and residents.  

Utilization of CDBG funds can provide benefits to our residents and businesses both directly and indirectly.  As the council evaluates and decides on the best use of these funds, I am confident we will find an appropriate balance, and your input is an important component in the process.  Please share your thoughts with your city council representatives; contact information is available at http://bit.ly/BSCouncilContacts

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Blue Springs CDBG Minor Home Repair Program 2012–Accepting Applications

clock November 1, 2011 16:26 by author Jeff Quibell

The Community Development Department will begin accepting applications for the Minor Home Repair Program on Tuesday, November 1st.  We will accept applications through Friday, January 28, 2012.  The emphasis of this program is on neighborhood conservation, and only minor exterior home repairs are eligible.  For more information about the program, eligibility and the application form please visit http://www.bluespringsgov.com/mhrp or contact Lauren Gowdy at 220-4504.