Sidewalk projects were the main topic at the Thursday, Nov. 17 Gonzales City Council meeting at city hall. The council held a public hearing regarding the Section 3 (of the Housing and Development Act of 1968) requirements for the city’s grant received from the Texas Department of Agriculture. The grant received was in the amount of $500,000 for sidewalk and American with Disabilities Amendment (ADA) infrastructure improvements.
As a condition of the award received the city and city contractors must demonstrate economic opportunity generated by the CDGB funds, as well as other HUD assistance received.
There is a heavy emphasis on employment opportunities directed towards low, and very low, income persons, with further emphasis geared towards those individuals currently receiving government assistance for housing. Another important condition states that all recipients be residents of the community in which the federal funds are being spent.
Janay Tieken, of Jet Development, will be working with the city pertaining to issues related to grant administration on the sidewalk grant. Tieken addressed the council about grant requirements during the meeting.
“There is a Section 3 requirement(for) CDBG grants, (they) are are intended to benefit low to moderate income individuals,” Tieken said. “So where the sidewalks are being replaced in the city of Gonzales is a low to moderate income area, and the Section 3 requirements also require that the city and residents be aware (of this designation).”
Tieken has been doing grant writing and grant administration since 2002, she formed Jet Development in 2009. Per Tieken, the company is also a state-certified, historically underutilized business and she has been working alongside the city of Gonzales since 2017.
“I really enjoy being down here and learning about your community, (and) the needs of the community and to help those needs with grant funding, so that it saves taxpayer dollars and (being) able to get some pretty cool projects,” Tieken said.
The presentation centered on Section 3 requirements and the city’s role in these requirements, as they relate to lower income residents of Gonzales and opportunities for employment related to the grant funding.
“The council will be holding a hearing regarding the contract award for the sidewalks that is funded through Texas CDBG grant,” Tieken stated, also relaying that this hearing presents another way that low income residents can participate in this grant process.
No action was taken on the above grant item. Mayor Steve Sucher stated that the project will be relevant to the sidewalk and infrastructure planned improvements on the west side of Texas Heroes Square.
The council approved/disapproved the following agenda items:
• approved authorizing the interim city manager to submit, and accept if awarded, an application and associated documents to the Texas General Land Office (GLO) for $150,000 to the Resilient Communities Grant program for the update of the City of Gonzales Comprehensive Plan.
• approved the 2023 insurance provider for heath, dental, vision and life with Blue Cross Blue Shield.
• approved authorizing the purchase of a fire engine and related equipment for the Gonzales Fire Department, authorizing the Interim City Manager to execute the purchase agreement and all necessary documents.
• approved the resolution and awarding of the contract for the 2021 Sidewalk Improvement Plans to Diamond X Contracting, Inc.
• Approving work order #74 in the amount of $44,500 for engineering, surveying, CMT and construction administration Services for the 2022 Water and Wastewater Improvement Projects.
• approved, 4-1, the performance agreement by and between the Gonzales Economic Development Corporation and Gonzales Main Street, Inc., a Texas non-profit corporation, concerning the Gonzales Butterfly Garden.
• approved amending the official zoning map by zoning property located at 1507 Seydler Street from C-2 heavy commercial to SF-6 single family 6 district.
• approved amending the official zoning map by zoning property located at 814 Seydler Street from C-2 heavy commercial to SF-6 single family 6 district.