Trinity County supervisors last week approved a $3.5 million application for a Community Development Block Grant they hope will be awarded to repair public roads in the Trinity Pines/Post Mountain subdivision south of Hayfork and to assist the Trinity County Food Bank program.

Eligibility criteria for the national CDBG program make projects serving low to moderate income communities more competitive than others for funding. The program is administered by the state Department of Housing and Community Development providing funding for a variety of activities.

Priorities are community development including public facilities, infrastructure, public services and planning/technical assistance; housing including single-family housing rehabilitation, homebuyer assistance, infrastructure in support of housing and multi-family housing rehabilitation; and economic development including business assistance, microenterprise assistance and infrastructure in support of businesses.

Trinity County Grants Coordinator Suzi Kochems said the maximum available to Trinity County in this application cycle is $3.5 million and a community infrastructure planning committee has worked over the past several months in a public process to identify priority projects that meet the funding criteria.

“Although there is much need that entities do not have funding to tackle, not every project or entity will meet threshold criteria,” she said, adding that both the clients served and the area being served have to meet the thresholds. Shovel-ready projects are the most competitive and likely to be funded.

If it is successful, the county’s application, approved by the Board of Supervisors last week in time to meet a June 1 submission deadline, would provide $3.35 million to a public infrastructure project to repair roads in the Trinity Pines area and $150,000 to the Trinity County Food Bank under the public services category.

The Trinity Pines project would be limited to work on the public, county-maintained roads including Rattlesnake and Chrome Mine to Highway 36 and not the numerous private roads and driveways within the subdivision that are not eligible for CDBG funding. The project is in preliminary planning stages, but would include realignment and paving.

Regarding the Trinity County Food Bank and outreach program, Kochems said “they are 10 times busier than they have ever been. We want to acknowledge that and put forth some funding to help sustain that program and pay the folks running it.”

District 2 Sup. Judy Morris commented that her district (Weaverville) “fortunately or unfortunately does not qualify for this though there are projects people would like to see.” The area as a whole does not meet the low-income CDBG funding criteria.  

A public hearing on the application was opened during last week’s board meeting held by Zoom conference, but no comments were received.

The delivery time for funded projects is 24 months, and District 5 Sup. John Fenley said he’s been assured that is a workable timeframe for the Trinity Pines road project if the county’s application for funding is approved by the state.

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