City seeking grant money through income survey
A knock on the door of Baldwin City residents and a few questions asked could make the city eligible for up to $400,000 of grant money.
The survey, to be conducted door-to-door starting Monday, will determine whether the city is eligible for Community Development Block Grants through the Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing. Last week, the City Council approved spending nearly $10,000 to hire Governmental Assistance Services, Lawrence, to conduct the survey.
"The purpose of the survey is to determine whether or not we can qualify for Community Development Block Grants," said City Administrator Larry Paine. "You qualify by demonstrating you have 51 percent or more folks who have low-to-moderate incomes."
Past grant money has been used to build the Newton Street substation and replace sewer lines. Paine said the city could use the block grant in a number of places, especially relating to infrastructure projects.
"The advantage of being eligible for grants is we can use the money to help with projects water line, sewer line, streets and economic development. Public facilities in general could get a share of money up to $400,000."
Donna Crawford, owner of Governmental Assistance Services, said the survey will be conducted through Sept. 30, unless it is completed prior to that date. She said the state requires an 80 percent response rate, but she hopes for a 90 percent response rate, increasing the city's chance of acquiring grant funds.
"We want a 90 percent return," Crawford said.
The nine-question survey will take 30 seconds or so, she said. Questions include how many are in a household and their income range. All responses are confidential. The city will receive only a compiled list.
"It is confidential," she said. "It is not accessible to the City Council or the public in general."
Paine said it is important for residents to participate in the survey.
"It is really important to answer those questions," he said. "If we end up not having enough responses, then we lose the opportunity to get up to $400,000 that will have to be replaced by user fees or property taxes."
The following questions will appear on the survey:
2. How many persons live at this address?
3. How many persons are unrelated?
4. How many families reside at the address?
5. For each family member, are you above or below the following income? (one person, $28,850; two people, $32,950; three people, $37,100; four people, $41,200; five people, $44,500; six people, $47,800; seven people, $51,100; eight people, $54,400)
6. Are any persons disabled, how many?
7. Are any persons over 65, how many?
8. Is the head of the household female?
9. Ethnic or racial background?