Block Grant Budgets

Benton Harbor City Commissioners this week signed off on a couple of budgets for federal Community Development Block Grants. At a meeting on Monday, the commission heard unused funds from 2014 through 2017, totalling about $1.1 million, will go to priorities including a master plan update, repairs to the Armory, the Hull Park basketball court, and Dial a Ride. Commissioner Juanita Henry wasn’t entirely pleased with the plan

“This budget does not reflect the residents’ needs,” Henry said. “It reflects government operation.”

Mayor Marcus Muhammad said the budgets had to be approved, or the HUD funding could be lost. He noted the city’s Community and Economic Development Department had scrambled to catch up after being understaffed for years to put the budgets together. Commissioners were told there are CDBG plans for $300,000 in repairs at the Armory over three years.