CDBG Grants for Libraries
Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), a source of federal tax dollars distributed through state economic development agencies, are available for the first time this year to accredited public libraries in Nebraska. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) administers the Community Development Block Grant program, providing Nebraskans appropriate, affordable, and accessible housing and infrastructure. The following questions and answers are offered to help Nebraska libraries apply for these funds:
Q. How do we know if our library project fits with CDBG goals?
A. The project must comply with the state's Community Development Objective, which reads, in part, "...to provide for investments in effective and affordable infrastructure to quality communities that are investing in long-term development. This provides a sound basis for fostering local economic development, recognizing the importance of the availability and condition of public works/facilities and housing in business expansion and location decision."
Q. Which funding categories do public libraries fall under?
A. Public libraries are eligible to apply for funding under the category of "public works," and they may also apply for removal of architectural barriers. Public libraries can also apply for funds related to planning or planning for capacity building. Applying for a planning grant is advisable if the library board is just beginning to consider whether or not to build, renovate, or reconstruct a facility.
Q. What requirements must public works projects meet?
A. Public works projects must meet one of the following national objectives:
Aiding in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight
Q. What activities are eligible for CDBG funding?
A. Eligible activities include, among others:
Q. How will the requirements for this funding affect the library project?
A. The following procedures must be addressed:
When the document is in final draft, a public hearing on the application for CDBG funding must be held.
Q. What is the funding cycle for CDBG?
A. There are two funding cycles: April 1, 2002 through April 15, 2002, and October 1, 2002 through October 15, 2002. Applications are accepted during each period based upon U.S. Postal Service postmark date or date of delivery by other means.
Q. How can we get help with CDBG Applications?
A. The DED Website, crd.neded.org/cdbg.html, offers helpful information including documents, 2002 Community Development Application Guidelines for Improvements to: Water or Wastewater Systems and Other Public Works/Facilities and 2002 Planning and Planning for Capacity Building Application Guidelines.
For clarification or a copy of the CDBG guidelines and application, contact: Steve Charleston, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Community and Rural Development Division, P.O. Box 94666, Lincoln, NE 68509, 402-471-3119, 800-426-6505, fax: 402-471-3778, e-mail: email@example.com.