City Commissioners asked to rescind CDBG funding

City Commissioners will consider rescinding a Community Development Block Grant loan fund award during their Sept. 19 meeting.

In August 2022, commissioners approved $1.2 million in CDBG revolving loan funds to Dan Batemen to renovate the former Cambridge Court at 1109 6th Ave. N. into apartments.

The property is 1.26 acres, zoned multi-family high density, and contains a vacant, 5-story building that was
constructed in 1929.

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The building was an assisted living facility that closed in 2019 and has been vacant since.

The renovation includes installation of fire protection systems, updating windows, water and sewer service lines and updating electrical service, according to city staff.

Staff is recommending that commissioners rescind the funding since the project complexities are affecting the timeline and the project won’t meet the CDBG program requirements this year.

Essentially, the CDBG program requires that certain percentages of the annual allocation be spent within a certain amount of time, so since the Cambridge project is taking longer than anticipated, the city would be at risk of having too much CDBG funding for too long this year.

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Rescinding the funding award allows staff to focus CDBG funds on other projects that can be accomplished within this year’s funding cycle.

City staff Batemen intends to move forward with the project and encouraged him to apply for the funds again in the future when the project is further along.

Commissioners could choose not to rescind the funding, but that would but the city’s CDBG funds over the acceptable limits of the program requirements, according to staff.