LIMA — The Lima Allen Council on Community Affairs board of trustees voted to approve its Community Services Block Grant for 2016 and 2017 Thursday, with the hopes that this grant will be easier to administer, with LACCA having a presence in Allen, Auglaize and Mercer counties.
“It should be right around $781,000 for all three counties for three years,” chief financial officer Michele Spradlin said. “We usually get in Allen County about $450,000 for two years. The main balance on Auglaize and Mercer has been around $230,000, so there is reason to believe that there is a little bit more that we can work with.”
CSBG funds are given through the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to help alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty in communities throughout the country, addressing the needs of low-income individuals, the homeless, migrants and the elderly through employment, education, housing and other initiatives. Previously, LACCA received CSBG funds specifically allocated to each of the three counties it serves, which created a difficult situation when it came to documenting how the funds were used.
“With this one grant, it doesn’t say you have to spend this amount of money here and this amount of money there,” Spradlin said. “To go into one grant is going to be so much easier to manage. Right now, it’s a coding nightmare. A person may work in Allen or Auglaize County, but where were they when they did this or that? For example, with financial literacy, we work in all three counties.”
However, to be transparent, LACCA still plans on having documentation for the board of trustees showing what CSBG money went to each county.
“We need something for the board so that when we switch over to one grant, we’re able to show that we’re still putting money into Auglaize and Mercer counties,” CEO Jacqueline Fox said.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.