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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Colfax Village Board has decided to “keep it local” for the Community Development Block Grant revolving loan fund.
If the village gives up the CDBG program “we will lose it all to the state,” said Scott Gunnufson, village president, at the Colfax Village Board’s July 8 meeting.
The state is asking municipalities with less than $50,000 in remaining CDBG funds if they want to turn those funds over to the state, and then in the future, if homeowners with low to moderate income want a CDBG loan, they would go to the regional office at the Chippewa County Housing Authority.
Colfax has about $5,000 remaining in CDBG funds and has loaned out about $300,000.
Under the CDBG program, homeowners borrow the money to repair or remodel a house at zero percent interest, and then payment on the loan is deferred until the homeowner sells the house, at which time, the money must be repaid to the CDBG fund.
When payments start coming back into the fund, then Colfax will have more money again to help other village residents, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer.
Cedar Corporation out of Menomonie administers the CDBG program for Colfax.
Chad Berge, village trustee, asked how Cedar Corporation is paid for the administrative work.
The payment comes out of the CDBG funds, and there is a limit on what Cedar Corporation can charge for their services, Niggemann said.
Niggemann said she attends meetings for the CDBG program and makes sure the minutes of the meetings are on file with the village but that the program generally does not require very much of her time.
Anne Jenson, village trustee, said she had received CDBG funds for her house and that it is “a simple process” to apply for the money.
The process involves filling out an application, obtaining quotes for the work and having someone come out to assess the proposed projects, she said.
Cedar Corporation will still administer the CDBG program for the village, Niggemann noted.
The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved a motion to not dissolve the village’s CDBG program into the state fund and to “keep it local.”
In other business, the Colfax Village Board:
• Approved a transient merchant license from July 8 to September 30 for Darian Prince, who will not be selling any Edward Jones financial planning services, but instead will be traveling around the village making introductions to the services.
• Received an update on the Roosevelt Street project and learned that almost all of the curb had been torn out and reinstalled.
• Learned that Niggemann had submitted an application for the 2019 United Way Day of Caring Project on August 14 with a request to have volunteers paint the gazebo and the trellis with benches at Tower Park next to the Colfax Municipal Building.