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Community development grants to be allocated

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

The Carson City Fire Department, Nevada Health Centers Inc., and the Community Counseling Center are recommended recipients of federal grant money.

“It’s a competitive process,” said Ward 2 Supervisor Shelly Aldean. “We only had a certain amount of money to deal with, and some people didn’t get anything.”

Coming to the city this year will be nearly $457,600 – a decrease of 10 percent, said Joe McCarthy, director of the city’s development and redevelopment authority.

Aldean headed the group that made the Community Development Block Grant recommendations. Three residents and Ramiro Ramirez, the city’s citizen outreach coordinator, also reviewed applications.

The city is seeking more than $297,400 for a structural fire truck that costs roughly $350,000. It would replace an engine that is 20 years old and no longer pumps water at full capacity.

The truck to be replaced was purchased in 1986. It failed its last certification test and repairs were made, but it has been downgraded to being a last-resort piece of equipment.

Another challenge is finding parts for a 20-year-old fire engine, said Battalion Chief Robert Charles.

“Most manufacturers only go back 10 years,” he said. “We’re trying to have something operable for the public and safe for firefighters to navigate on the roads.”

In a crash, the structural integrity likely won’t hold up either, he said.

Access to Health Care for the Uninsured, a project of Nevada Health Center, could receive about $30,200 to hire a bilingual worker at Sierra Family Health Center to help residents with health-care assistance.

Hispanics in Nevada are twice as likely not to have health insurance than other groups of residents, according to 2004 research by the Great Basin Primary Care Association.

The Community Counseling Center could receive more than $38,400 for a methamphetamine counselor and case manager. This person will work with the growing number of meth abusers.

The number of people being treated for abuse of meth has risen from 29 percent of patients in 2004 to 55 percent in 2005 at the center, according to the city.

CDBG money is separated between public and private recipients. The total of roughly $457,600 is allocated as 65 percent for public facilities and improvements, 15 percent for public service activities and the rest, 20 percent, for administrative work.

The fire truck was chosen for funding over a proposed sewer extension at Appion Way and Cochise Street that would extend to the sewer west of South Carson Street.

The Board of Supervisors will be asked to either approve the recommendations or will provide their own funding preferences. A 30-day public comment period is required before the allocations are again put before the supervisors for final approval.

CDBGs, which are administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, have been around for more than 30 years.

“The nonprofit component that does the service work makes a tremendous impact in the community,” McCarthy said. “The little bit of money helps sustain their efforts.”

If you go

What: Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting

When: 8:30 a.m. Thursday

Where: Sierra Room,

Community Center, 851 E. William St.

Recommended allocations:

• Structural fire engine, $297,435

• Access to health care for the uninsured, $30,202

• Methamphetamine counselor and case manager, $38,437

Requests not recommended for funding include:

• $25,000 for Lifeline Emergency Response Telephone Systems so service can be continued for below-poverty seniors

• $34,500 for a resource coordinator to help homeless people obtain stable housing through the Rural Center for Independent Living Inc.

• $63,200 for Nevada Hispanic Services Inc. in Carson City for La Puerta Abierta (The Open Door), to help Hispanics obtain information about government services they might need.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.