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Watertown City Hall. Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — The City Council will decide on Monday night on how to spend $541,672 in additional Community Development Block Grant funding that the city obtained from the $2 trillion federal coronavirus rescue bill.

The city’s Planning Department put together a series of projects for the funding, said Michael A. Lumbis, the city’s planning and community development director.

Council members will be asked to approve the funding for the projects on Monday. A public hearing also was set for 7:30 p.m. at the council meeting.

The city plans to set aside $100,000 for four local food banks. The Watertown Urban Mission, Salvation Army, Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County and for the city school district’s Food For Families backpack program will each receive $25,000 in funding from the federal CARES Act.

Money also will go toward installing 3,000 feet of sidewalks along Grant Street. The sidewalks are part of a $350,000 project that includes installing new curbing and repaving of the street already planned by the city’s Department of Public Works.

In a CDBG targeted neighborhood, the project would improve a main route from the surrounding neighborhood to the Starbuck School.

“It’s going to have a major impact on the neighborhood,” Mr. Lumbis said.

The city plans to spend $60,000 on between 10 and 12 ADA ramps along sidewalks in Thompson Park.

“It’s something we’ve been already been working on,” Mr. Lumbi said, adding that some ramps in the park have already been done.

The city will use $15,000 to construct an asphalt basketball court at the North Hampton Park. Last year, the city revamped the city playground.

The $16,672 remaining money will be used for administration for the program.

The CDBG funding came from the $2 trillion funding stimulus package to help municipalities get through the coronavirus crisis.

As an entitlement program, the city receives about $915,000 for its CDBG efforts.

The city typically uses the CDBG funding to improve rental housing and owner-occupant homes, install handicapped-accessible ramps along city sidewalks and pay for homeless assistance, building demolition, other sidewalk repairs and assisting the backpack program.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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