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Facing budget deficit, ORR approved for federal assistance application

October 16, 2020 | 12:10 am

Updated October 16, 2020 | 12:12 am

Graphic by Owensboro Times

Daviess County Fiscal Court approved an application Thursday for financial assistance for Owensboro Regional Recovery, which is facing a budget deficit of roughly $143,000 due to COVID-19-related issues that brought in less rent-paying residents over a months-long span.

The application is for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) – CV COVID Relief Kentucky funds in the amount of $200,000. It will be submitted to and reviewed by the Kentucky Department of Local Governments to address the community development and housing needs faced by ORR. 

Additionally, Thursday’s approval allowed for moderate- to low-income housing persons to receive technical assistance through the Green River Area Development District (GRADD) in developing grant proposals for CDBG programs. 

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“Effective August 10, 2020, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) made CDBG-CV funds available to prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus,” Judge-Executive Al Mattingly said. “The state of Kentucky’s allocation over three rounds of funding totals $41,036,762. The Department of Local Government has set aside $2.8 million to $3.1 million — approximately $200,000 for each Kentucky Recovery Center.” 

Those funds would be used to address fiscal issues related to the coronavirus and the continued operations at ORR, Mattingly said. 

Because of HUD’s involvement in the program, the Uniform Displacement Act will not apply to this project because “no residents have been, or will be, displaced due to the activities of this project,” he said. 

As explained by Mattingly, the Administrative Offices of the Courts (AOC) shut down the Morton J. Holbrook Judicial Center in April due to coronavirus-related concerns, leading to a lack of residents being referred to ORR through the courts system. 

Fiscal Court had already provided roughly $200,000 in CDBG funds to ORR at the beginning of the year. Funding was also made available through the residents who stayed at ORR and paid their own rent.  

In August, ORR was facing a deficit of roughly $143,000, Mattingly said. The $200,000 in federal funding would get the program through the rest of the year in a feasible manner, he said, adding that ORR Director Sarah Adkins and her staff were anxious in hoping Fiscal Court would approve the application as quickly as possible. 

“Since the courts were not referring anyone, they dropped down to roughly 90-95 folks [compared to] an average of 150, which cut into their operation funds considerably,” Mattingly said. “There was some question as to whether these funds were going to be available. I sat in on a couple of Zoom meetings. And in effect, they were able to convince the Department of Local Governments that they needed the money.” 

No public comments were made during the public hearing, and Fiscal Court approved a resolution to move forward with submitting the application. 

October 16, 2020 | 12:10 am

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