CITY IS AWARDED $150,000 FEDERAL GRANT FOR ROAD WORK

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The City of Middleburg Heights has been awarded a Community Development Block Grant of $150,000 that will be used for the resurfacing of Parklawn Avenue and Barriemore Avenue later this year. These streets were not originally scheduled for resurfacing in 2015, but the grant is providing the funds to make it happen.

Middleburg Heights is one of only ten communities to receive Community Development Block Grant funds for 2015. (A total of 23 communities applied for the grants.)

Community Development Block Grant funds are federal funds administered by the Cuyahoga County Department of Development and distributed through the Competitive Municipal Grant Program.

Prior to the submission of the application last September, a public meeting was held to give Middleburg Heights residents the opportunity to provide feedback on how grant funds could be used in the community.

The grant applications were prepared under the leadership of Charles Bichara, the city’s economic development director, then reviewed and scored by the county. Scoring of the applications is based upon a number of criteria, including the ability of the community to demonstrate that it will be able to successfully administer the grant funds.

Through Bichara’s efforts the county was satisfied that Middleburg Heights does indeed have the administrative capacity to successfully administer grant funds.

Planning for this grant application actually reaches back to December 2013, when Bichara requested that the county pay special attention to certain streets when they conducted their most recent Improvement Target Area study. This request was specifically made so that the City would be able to be eligible for Community Development Block Grants for street resurfacing and reconstruction.

(Middleburg Heights was previously ineligible to participate in the Municipal Grant Program because the city did not have any areas that were identified as Improvement Target Areas by the Cuyahoga County Department of Development.)

In 2010, the city applied for and received a $35,000 grant through the Parks and Playgrounds Grant Program to assist the Berea City School District with installing ADA compliant playground equipment at the Big Creek Elementary School playground.