Mt. Vernon moves forward on block grant

December 31, 2018

By Tesa Glass-

MT. VERNON — The City Council has approved the commitment of local funds to a Community Development Block Grant which is earmarked for street improvements on 12th Street.

“The City of Mt. Vernon is proposing to convert its (Community Development Block Grant) revolving loan fund to a CDBG street improvement project to pay for the majority of the project,” information on the grant documents state. “The remainder of the project costs would be covered with in-kind labor and cash from the city’s Home Rule Sales Tax Fund. The city has 10s of millions of dollars of public infrastructure projects that need completed and does not have the ability to raise the funds to cover them. Converting these RLF funds to be used for a public infrastructure project that will improve a high traffic section of the road will be a good start to addressing these needs and will have a very beneficial impact.”

The project is to complete a 5,510 linear foot asphalt overlay from the railroad track on 12th Street south to Veterans Memorial Drive.
“The work also includes milling, patching, a new box culvert at Forest Avenue and raising the road profile at the south side of the railroad tracks,” information states.

The application to close out the revolving loan and convert it to the infrastructure grant indicates 12th Street as a main artery in the city.
“This section of roadway was selected for this project because of its current state of repair and its high traffic volume,” information states. “Twelfth Street from Veterans Memorial Drive to Broadway is considered an ‘arterial’ street in the City of Mt. Vernon. This section of road to be improved through this project carries up to 5,000 cars per day with the average daily traffic being 3,800 vehicles per day.”

In addition to being an artery for travel, the project will affect the 3,115 residents who live in the project area — with 2,110 of those residents meeting the low to moderate income threshold as required for a Community Development Block Grant.