City continuing tweaks to CDBG process to avoid conflicts of interest

City staffers are proposing changes to municipal code to expand the Board of Adjustment/Appeals’ jurisdiction.

The board currently hears requests for variances to zoning and land development codes, among other issues.

City staff told board members during a training session last week that they’re planning to recommend that the BOA jurisdiction would include appeals to administrative decisions, as well as appeals regarding Community Development Block Grant funding allocations.

HUD closed case with city over CDBG conflicts of interest

Craig Raymond, city planning director, reminded the board of the issues that plagued the process last year, leading to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development declining funding for Paris Gibson Square and several other entities, as well as requiring changes to the process.

CDBG annual action plan on Tuesday’s commission agenda

A number of changes have been made to the CDBG process and now city staff use a scoring matrix to make funding determinations. Raymond stays out of the initial process so he can serve as the first level of appeal.

Commissioners approve funding priorities for Great Falls CDBG program

The City Commission is no longer involved in the allocation process and the Community Development Council was eliminated since that was the source of several conflict of interest issues last year.

City staff making CDBG funding recommendations during Tuesday’s commission meeting

Sara Sexe, city attorney, said the changes to the process and recommendation to make the BOA part of the appeals process is the city’s effort to avoid conflicts of interest in allocating the annual funds from HUD.

The recommended code change will need commission approval and likely be considered sometime this winter.