CDCC Minutes, January 23, 2006
Call to Order:
Vice Chairperson Bambrook called the meeting to order at 6:35 PM.
Linda R. Morad, Housing Programs Supervisor
Sylvia M. Chavez, Housing Programs Assistant
Kim Husereau, Clerical Assistant
Approval of Minutes
MOTION was made by Committee Member Elliott, SECONDED by Vice Chairperson Bambrook, to approve the Minutes of May 2, 2005 as written.
Ms. Morad reviewed the proposed schedule for CDCC meetings as follows:
Public Hearing: Review of CDBG Guidelines, Schedules, 2004-05 CAPER, Five Year Consolidated Plan (2005/06 2009/10) and Review of Non-Profit Requests
Presentation by Non-Profit Agencies
Presentation by Non-Profit Agencies
Review of City Department Requests
Presentations by City Departments
Presentation of Committee Recommendations to City Council, City Council Chambers
She stated that all of the meetings would take place at Hunt Branch Library at 6:30 p.m. with the exception of the presentation to City Council, which will be held at City Hall Council Chambers.
Ms. Morad asked the Committee to either accept the proposed schedule or to provide any necessary changes. The members unanimously approved the schedule without alteration.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Vice Chairperson Bambrook opened up the floor for nominations.
Committee Member Elliott MOVED to nominate Vice Chairperson Bambrook for election to Chairperson. The MOTION was seconded by Committee Member Miller and CARRIED unanimously.
A MOTION was made by newly elected Chairperson Bambrook to nominate Member Miller to the Vice Chairperson position. Member Elliott SECONDED the MOTION. No further nominations were voiced. The MOTION was carried by all members present.
Chairperson Bambrook opened up the Public Hearing.
Ms. Morad reviewed the following items:
- Ms. Morad explained that as a requirement of the funding source there must be two Public Hearings conducted per year. This portion of the meeting, conducted as a Public Hearing tonight, will provide an overview of rules and regulations and HUD requirements. The second Public Hearing will occur on May 2, 2006 when the presentations are made to City Council.
- Ms. Morad proceeded by advising that the funding source being reviewed is the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). She provided a Glossary of Terms to each member and stated the City of Fullerton has been a recipient of CDBG funds for approximately 30 years; $1.7 million last year. In order to be eligible to receive this type of funding a Five Year Consolidated Plan must be developed. (A copy of the 2005/06 2009/10 Five Year Consolidated Plan was provided to each member as part of the materials distributed during this meeting.) Members were encouraged to use their copies of the Five Year Consolidated Plan as reference in order to become familiar with the program, the needs within the city and the manner in which funds were utilized last year. Ms. Morad noted that HOME funds are also utilized within the City. The information available in the Plan also describes Redevelopment funds that are used for some of the housing projects and economic development.
- Ms. Morad cautioned the Committee that the Annual Entitlement of CDBG funding has been reduced by $173,000 for the 2006-07 Fiscal Year. This was as a result of Federal across-the-board budget cuts of approximately 10%. These cuts were expected and affected all cities in the nation. As a result, the City of Fullerton will receive $1,553,844 in CDBG funds for the Fiscal Year 2006-2007. The HOME funds were also cut by approximately $50,000. Therefore, the City of Fullerton will be receiving $747,600 in HOME funds for the Fiscal Year 2006-07.
2004-05 CAPER (Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report)
Ms. Morad advised that the report (CAPER) is available for Members to review at their discretion. This report is generated annually and reviews all accomplishments made through the use of CDBG and HOME funding; including a narrative of programs and how many persons were assisted. The report also includes HUD generated reports, which detail additional statistics.
2005-06 One-Year Action Plan
Ms. Morad directed the Members attention to page D27 of their Five Year Consolidated Plan booklets to review the Approved Budget of 2005-06 CDBG funds. She noted that $1.7 million was received last year and suggested that this would provide the Members a useful reference to review what funds had been granted in the prior year.
Guidelines and Regulations of the CDBG
Notebooks were distributed, which included all of the applications submitted prior to the published deadline of January 6, 2006 by non-profit organizations seeking CDBG funds through the City of Fullerton. Staff has received inquiries from some non-profit organizations that had missed the deadline and they were advised to apply next year.
The HUD guidelines were summarized as the following:
- Per HUD, administration of the CDBG program (the salaries of Staff, operating cost and overhead incurred by the City) must not exceed 20% of the allocated CDBG funding.
- No more that 15% of the annual entitlement may be allocated toward Public Service Activities. Public Service Activities include services for the elderly, child care, homeless, health, drug abuse programs, education, employment and recreation needs.
- Guidelines require a fair housing program to be provided. Ms Morad noted that in the past it had been determined to be most cost effective to meet this obligation by utilizing the services of Orange County Fair Housing Council and paying a share of cost. This is due to the need to employ an attorney or specialist knowledgeable in all of the related law, and able to answer questions and handle all of the complaints and landlord questions that come in on a regular basis. Ms. Morad pointed out that The Fair Housing Council has submitted an application for funding, which is included in the Members notebooks.
- Paint that was produced before 1978 contained high amounts of lead. Although the paint itself is no longer on the market it is present on some of Fullertons older structures and homes. This is a highly dangerous substance because a very small amount of lead dust can cause brain damage. This poses a hazard to the building occupants as well as the contractors that may be working on a project.
- Construction projects are also subject to Davis- Bacon. Davis-Bacon is a statutory requirement that the laborers working on the project get paid a prevailing wage, which is set by the Federal government. This requirement tends to increase project costs because contractors cannot self-determine pay rates.
- ** Committee Member Glenna Axe arrived at this time.**
SECTION 108 PROJECT UPDATE
Ms. Morad explained that Section 108 is a loan guarantee provision from CDBG. The City is allowed to request up to five times the amount of the latest entitlement. The City submitted a request for less than the maximum allowed and was granted that request with a loan of $7.5 million. Member Miller was very instrumental in working with the City to obtain this money for use in the Richman Park area. The Section 108 loan for the Richman Park area will be utilized to improve the infrastructure.
Member Silva asked to clarify who sought the Section 108 loan. Ms. Morad responded that the CDCC reviewed the application and the project, which ultimately resulted in the City of Fullerton submitting the request for the loan. The money awarded will be repaid from CDBG funds.
Ms. Morad spoke about the low-moderate income requirements. She explained that when the non-profit organizations and the City departments are requesting funding, one of the ways that they may request funding is to show that their clients are in the low-moderate earnings category. This is defined at below 80% of median income. The second manner of qualification is to demonstrate an area benefit wherein a minimum 51% of the residents in that area meet the low-moderate earnings requirement. She advised that CDBG funds may also be utilized to help prevent or eliminate slum and blight. In such a case the area must be designated by the City Council as a blighted area. There is also a provision that allows the City to redirect CDBG funds in the case of some type of extreme emergency or catastrophic event, where there are no other funds available.
No comments or questions were raised. At this time Chairperson Bambrook closed the Public Hearing portion of this meeting.
Ms. Morad returned to the topic of Section 108 in order provide the Members with a general update of the work being done in the Richman Park area. Project highlights include alleys to be upgraded, improvements at the Richman Park and work being done on the streets of West Avenue and Valencia. Ms. Morad noted that CDBG funds were used to install a lighted crosswalk at Elm & Highland and a signal at the intersection of Highland & Valencia. She mentioned that there are also some housing projects being done in the area with Redevelopment funds.
Member Silva asked where the cut-through street for Valencia was going to be made.
Ms. Morad pointed out the location as 412 Valencia and 431 West and commented that the City is currently in escrow to acquire those properties.
Member Silva asked if 412 Valencia and 431 West were empty lots at this time. Ms. Morad responded that the property in escrow is currently occupied. However, there are empty lots nearby on Valencia that are part of the Civic Center Barrio project, which will construct townhomes for sale. There are also two additional locations on the block that are Redevelopment Agency City-owned and may become projects developed by Habitat for Humanity. She added that Habitat for Humanity will consist of four parcels and the CCB project includes the parcel on Valencia as well as two additional parcels located on Truslow.
Ms. Morad closed this discussion by summarizing that the $7.5 million from Section 108 will be used for infrastructure improvements and redevelopment funds will be used for housing.
REVIEW OF NON-PROFIT REQUESTS
Boys and Girls Club - Commonwealth Branch New Window Project
The request is $45,537 for window replacement at the Main Branch. This agency plans to assist 2000 persons in one year. Davis-Bacon requirements apply. An estimate has been provided by a glass and screen company quoting costs for 39 new windows. A sample intake form is provided, along with an organizational chart.
Boys and Girls Club Richman Branch Roof
The request is for $12,240 to be used to replace the roof of that facility. Davis-Bacon applies. The request is for construction costs only.
Boys and Girls Club Valencia Park Operations
The request is for salaries paid to staff at this facility. The request is $10,000. They are currently receiving CDBG funds of the same amount ($10,000).
Council on Aging Long Term Care Ombudsman
Although the Council on Aging staff visits nursing homes throughout the County of Orange, this funding request applies only to visits that would be made within the City of Fullerton. The request is for $20,000 to cover salary and administrative costs. This program is currently receiving $18,000.
Crittenton Services for Children and Families Security Lighting
Ms. Morad commented that the last two grants that were approved did not go through. She felt that the organization staff at the time did not fully grasp Davis-Bacon requirements. Davis-Bacon guidelines apply to an entire project of which CDBG funds may only be a part. As a result all other construction projects on site are subject to paying prevailing wage in accordance with Davis-Bacon regulations. This obligation prompted Crittenton to forfeit the funds that the CDCC had approved because the Davis-Bacon would have caused cost overruns for their construction project. However, this year they have come back with a request for $12,000 to improve the lighting in the rear of their property and the parking lot. No contractors estimate has been provided.
Family Assessment, Counseling & Education Services (F.A.C.E.S.) Juvenile Connection Programs, Project Yellow Light
Ms. Morad advised that F.A.C.E.S. has previously received funding, although not during the past year. She warned that in order to be eligible to receive funds this year she would request a monitoring visit. This is because previously no monitoring was accomplished, due to a lack of cooperation with scheduling from the F.A.C.E.S. staff at that time. The organization did receive their grant, but Staff was never successful at being able to complete an audit. Continuing, Ms. Morad pointed out areas within the application that need to be clarified and suggested that Members should inquire to confirm how F.A.C.E.S. will meet their income requirements for CDBG funding, as some data on the application was ambiguous. The request is for $10,000 to cover Administration costs.
Fair Housing Council of Orange County Fullerton Fair Housing Services
Per HUD regulations, fair housing guidance must be provided. Past research has revealed that it is most cost effective to pay a share of cost in this manner rather than employ Staff to meet this obligation. Services provided by the Fair Housing Council include landlord tenant dispute resolution and investigation of housing discrimination claims. This program may be considered as Public Service Activities or Administration. However, since costs are already near the cap allowed for Administration, it has been categorized as Public Service. The request is for $27,564. The program received $27,910 CDBG funding for 2005-06.
Fullerton Interfaith Emergency Services (F.I.E.S.) Interfaith Shelter Network
This is a shelter program for homeless adults. F.I.E.S. works with local churches that rotate the location of the shelter among the participating churches. The homeless residents can stay overnight, but must leave each day. This program received $10,000 CDBG for 2005-06 and is requesting $12,000 this year.
Fullerton Interfaith Emergency Services New Vista Life Skills Training Program
Requesting $12,000. This shelter houses homeless families. In order for the families to stay at the facility, the parents must attend life skills training courses that provide instruction on topics such as nutrition and money management, with the goal of helping them to become more successful in life when they leave the shelter. This program has received CDBG funding since 1989.
Fullerton Civic Light Opera Fullerton School District Outreach Program
Although this organization has been in Fullerton for quite a long time, this is the first year they have requested CDBG funding. The request is for $40,800 to be used for students in low-moderate income areas, with all elementary and middle schools in the City that are CDBG eligible. They will work with the students to educate them in the art and then also use the funds to create sets and costumes for the actors. Ms. Morad stated that she was not certain whether the shows are intended to be strictly for the low-moderate qualified students or may also become public events for which tickets are sold. She expressed that she was not certain if the program as stated meets funding guidelines.
Marian Homes Renovation at Fullerton Apartments
Requesting $15,000. During the 2002-03 program year $15,000 was granted for use at the same location (Fullerton Apartments). At that time work was done for all required code items such as GFCI outlets in bathrooms and kitchens, ceiling lights/fans, screens on windows and some kitchens were upgraded with new cabinets and sinks. Ms. Morad stated that the following year Marian Homes submitted another request and also received an $800,000 grant direct from HUD. Ms. Morad stated that she had recently become aware that the HUD grant was lost, but she was not certain what circumstances caused the grant to be lost. She expressed that during her past experience with the organization they had expectations for City staff to do a great deal of the work for them. Thus, she speculated that perhaps there may not be staff to handle the work required. The total project cost estimate reflects $220,000; however, the actual construction cost indicated is $175,000. An estimate sheet has been provided as part of the application that appears to have been compiled by a contractor: Southern Sun Construction in Irvine.
Member Miller inquired regarding when the programs that are chosen to receive CDBG funds will actually receive the money. Ms. Morad explained that the funds become available on July 1, but are reimbursed to the sub-recipient agencies at the end of each quarter based upon submission of the required documentation in a timely manner.
Meals on Wheels Maintenance of Meals and Supportive Services
Meals on Wheels has applied for CDBG funds since 1993 to provide meals to the elderly. The current request of $31,140 reflects the same level of assistance maintained this year as last year. Ms. Morad noted that typically HUD encourages grants to be given for seed money or to increase services. However, due to the economy over the past few years, HUD has been more receptive to funding a program at the same level, particularly where other types of funding may not be available.
Orange County Bar Foundation Shortstop (English and Spanish Programs)
The request is for $5000. This organization was given funding previously under the program of Stop Short. Ms. Morad indicated that although the program is changing slightly this year, it would continue to do work with the Fullerton Police Officers trying to keep juveniles from becoming repeat offender. They see the juveniles as well as the parents for intensive intervention through two sessions involving case management, a family therapist and referral services.
Southern California College of Optometry Futures in Sight
The program has received CDBG funding for several years. The current request is $10,850, last year they received $9,500. This program provides exams and eyeglasses to children that otherwise would not be able to afford them. Ms. Morad commented that the agency works very closely with the Fullerton School District and the nurses at the local elementary schools.
Womens Transitional Living Center (WTLC) Independence for Dependence
The request is for $10,000 to be used for their outreach program to victims of domestic violence. CDBG Funding has been provided for various programs in past years. Ms. Morad remarked that this organization typically avoids submitting construction projects due to the Davis-Bacon requirements.
YMCA of Orange County, North Orange County Branch Valencia Center for Youth Achievers
The program operates out of the Valencia Center. Although it was not funded last year, it has been given CDBG funds in previous years. The request this year is for $10,000 to help with the school enrichment program.
Member Elliott requested a list of the organizations that will be presenting on February 8. Ms. Morad directed him to a chart located in the front the Members notebooks that lists the schedule of presentations to be made on February 8 and 15th.
Chairperson Bambrook opened the meeting for public comment. None was given.
Ms. Morad offered to answer questions from the Members present.
Member Elliott noted that the funds requested by the agencies did not reflect the 10% reduction in entitlement for the 2006-07 year. He wondered whether the agencies were aware of the reduction at the time that they submitted their applications and suggested that the members could consider making an across-the-board cut to all requests.
Ms. Morad responded that because the funding information was only received by Staff just a few days prior, the reduction had not been communicated to the applicants when they submitted their application in early January. She suggested that the Committee may choose to make an across-the-board reduction to all awards, or may choose to drop specific programs in order to balance the expenditures.
Chairperson Bambrook recalled that last year the process of reviewing applications had resulted in the Committee choosing not to fund certain programs and this made it possible to balance the available funds overall. Member Elliott concurred.
Member Silva suggested that there appeared to be more funds available than what was being requested by the non-profit organizations that had submitted applications.
Ms. Morad cautioned him on his observation by reminding him that the City applications were not yet submitted. The due date for the submission of City applications is February 27 and the Committee will review the proposals on March 6, 2006.
Chairperson Bambrook asked to confirm that the funding decisions will be made on March 20 and Ms. Morad confirmed that date. Member Elliott suggested for Members to plan for that meeting to be a lengthy one.
Ms. Morad commented to the group as a hole that there are only three returning Members with past experience on this Committee. She appealed to the new Members to actively participate in order to learn as quickly as possible. Ms. Morad promised to contact the two absent Members and provide them with the materials distributed at this meeting. Neither of the absentees provided advanced notice that they were unable to attend.
Member Silva expressed that he wished to better understand what had occurred last year, as the Minutes of the May, 2005 meeting seemed to indicate that there had been some type of disagreement regarding the recommendations.
Ms. Morad summarized by stating that last year the Committee made recommendations that suggested cuts to City overhead and Staff also submitted recommendations. Staff submitted their recommendations as slightly different from Committee in an effort to address budget concerns and avoid severe cuts to any one of the City programs included in the recommendations. Thus, two sets of recommendations were taken to City Council.
Chairperson Bambrook sought to clarify what Committee members were nominated and which were at large this year.
- Chairperson Bambrook Member at Large
- Member Karmarkar Appointed by Council Member F. Richard Jones, M.D.
- Member Miller Appointed by Council Member Sharon Quirk
- Member Elliott Member at Large
- Member Axe Appointed by Council Member Shawn Nelson
- Member Sandy Appointed by Mayor Pro Tem Don Bankhead
- Member McGee Chamber Rep and Member at Large
- Member Ruhnke Member at Large
- Member Silva Appointed by Mayor Leland Wilson
Member Elliott voiced his dislike for having Members appointed to the CDCC, as he felt that appointees would tend to be expected to reflect the opinion of the Council Member that had appointed them.
Member Axe then expressed that although she had been a Member of the CDCC off-and-on for the last 25 years, this year was the first time that she had been interviewed by a panel of people and ultimately appointed to the Committee. Member Axe stated that she was not clear about what her responsibility would be to the Council Member made the appointment.
Member Elliott commented that last year, when Committee Member Leon was dismissed, she implied that she thought it was because she did not call the Council Member that had appointed her.
Ms. Morad responded by stating that neither Staff nor the City Clerk had been given clear direction regarding what the process of appointing Members actually means; other than some members were in fact appointed by a specific Council Member. It had not been made clear as to how communication between the two should take place, including whether it is the responsibility of the appointee to contact the Council Member, or if they should expect to be contacted by the Council Member. Ms. Morad added that the City Clerk had indicated that she would be glad to come in and talk to this group if the Members desired her to do so.
Member Axe expressed concern that if Members could be at risk for being kicked off the Committee for not conferring with the person that appointed them, then some type of clarification should be in order.
There was discussion that suggested there may have been some additional issues involved with the dismissal of former Member Leon.
Member Elliott observed that although he was interviewed by a panel of seven persons and asked some very pertinent question, he was serving as a Member at Large.
Member Axe commented that the persons who had interviewed her did not seem to have an awareness of how the CDCC worked and she did not feel that they were posing relevant questions at the time of her panel interview. She speculated that it must have been subsequent to her interview that a list of questions was developed and utilized during the following interviews. Ms. Morad confirmed and added that she had been asked to provide a list of questions for potential CDCC Members.
Member Elliott stated that he felt there have been a number of great Committees over the years, with very committed Members willing to contribute long hours and stay very late into the night.
Ms. Morad advised the new Members that they may wish to go out to look at the project sites for some of the applications being submitted. She instructed the Members to contact her directly and she would arrange appointments so that they could go and visit any of the locations they wished to see.
Member Silva returned to the prior topic of the Section 108 funds being used in the Richman Park area and inquired if this included any lighting in the park itself. Ms. Morad responded that project currently funded does not include the lighting of the park. She affirmed that park lighting was among the concerns expressed by the Valencia Task Force and that future projects would most likely be presented to address that need.
Members asked if they will be required to submit a financial disclosure this year.
Ms. Morad remarked that she was not aware of a disclosure being required. She stated that if in fact it would be required, it would most likely come to them directly.
Chairperson Bambrook recalled that last year there was a presentation made regarding the proposed work to be done utilizing Section 108 funds in the Richman Park area. She requested that an update be provided to the Committee this year.
Ms. Morad agreed to include the update during the upcoming March 6 meeting, at which time she would request the appropriate Staff to come in and discuss what was being done.
Member Elliott inquired whether there was anything the Members needed to do prior to the next meeting on February 8, 2006.
Ms. Morad suggested that the Members take time to review the applications from the agencies that will be presenting on February 8 and prepare a list of questions they would like to have answered. She stated that each agency will have a representative present that shall be allowed a five minute presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session that typically lasted an additional five minutes. She added that the question-and-answer time can be extended via request to the Chairperson as needed during the course of the meeting.
Member Elliott and Chairperson Bambrook added their comments that subsequent to the presentations the Members typically engage in quite a bit of discussion during the determination of funding recommendations, which will take place on March 20th this year.
Member Silva wished to clarify what date the Members could expect to be given information regarding the City department funding requests. He requested a preliminary estimate of what the City departments may be requesting.
Ms. Morad proposed that approved estimates from last year could be provided, as well as information regarding what was not approved last year. She pointed out that some information can be found within the Five Year Consolidated Plan, which has been provided to each Member.
Member Elliot MOVED for adjournment and was SECONDED by Member Silva.
Chairperson Bambrook adjourned the meeting at 8:00 P.M.