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City takes another shot at block grant
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The city of Springfield may be ready to take another run at a block grant to help out residents of the Railroad Avenue area.

City council members approved a resolution to authorize submission of a community development block grant to the state Department of Community Affairs for up to $500,000. The DCA turned down a similar application last year.

“This is round two of the CDBG application,” City Manager Brett Bennett said. “This is just one of those steps along the way we have to do.”

Last year, the city sought a grant of $458,209, with a local match of $25,000, that would have covered the tap-in fees. The project would have served just under 20 homes in the South Railroad Avenue that are on septic systems.

Residents in the area had complained to the city about the cost of maintaining their septic systems and some of the tanks required having to be pumped out several times a year. The cost of pumping out a septic tank is about $225 and the tanks also will fill with rainwater in periods of heavy rain. They also have complained of sewage backup, slow drainage and toilets that won’t flush and if they are expecting heavy rain, they have to do their bathing and laundry before the rain starts.

The city submitted its initial grant application to DCA in late March 2010 and received its rejection notice in September.

—Patrick Donahue