Surprise in Funding Could Mean More Money for Extra Projects

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COLUMBIA - The Community Development Department is sitting on about $1.6 million in their coffers right now. That's quite a bit more than the $886,000 the department originally had allocated. And since the federal government will only let the department keep 1.5 times its original allocation ($1.3 million), the department needs to spend some money. And fast. The deadline to get down to that $1.3 million mark is Nov. 1, 2013.

But thanks to some quick thinking, all that extra money will stay in the City of Columbia. With a six-week deadline looming the department couldn't start a new project.

"So really we're under the gun with these funds," said Randy Cole, the Community Development Coordinator with the city,  "So we needed to put it toward something with that process already started."

Cole didn't need to look very far to find one. Just down the road from his office, the city was repairing some sidewalks - which the Community Development Department helped finance. So a large chunk of the extra money the department needs to spend will now be spent on the sidewalk project, freeing up those funds for the city to use on other projects.

The Community Development Commission will be reviewing this plan at its meeting Wednesday night at City Hall.

For a look at the proposal, click here.