11/01/2018- A change in the way Wisconsin handles Community Block Grants could actually give Marinette County the opportunity to fund more local projects County Administrator John Lefebvre says the state is asking counties to transfer the CBG money they have in cash-on-hand or loans back to the state so it can be redistributed to counties as grants for projects and development in low to moderate income areas. Marinette County currently has about $260-thousand in Block Grant cash and $670-thouand in loans. Lefebvre is recommending the county buy out the loan funds and return all $920-thousand to the state. He says if they keep the loans, that money can only be used by outside organizations that apply for it and meet the criteria of serving low to moderate income residents, and they haven’t seen much interest in that.
Lefebvre says Marinette County wasn’t the only ones sitting on unused CBG money and that’s what prompted the state to change the way the program operates. He says there are several projects the new grants could help fund.
Currently, the county’s Industrial Development Corporation handles all Community Block Grant funds. That responsibility would be turned over to the County Board under the state’s new program structure.