CDBG program vital to local area

Published 9:03 pm Saturday, April 29, 2017

When President Trump released his budget proposal a few weeks ago, there was some pushback. And understandably so.

His budget included cuts for several agencies, and some of those would impact people right here in Lincoln County.

Trump’s budget recommends a $6 billion cut to the agency that administers Community Development Block Grants.

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Most of us have probably never heard of that program, but we see it in action every day here in Lincoln County.

The Jimmy Furlow Senior Citizen Center was built with more than $500,000 in grants from the program. Drainage work in Halbert Heights was funded with $550,000 in CDBGs. Other infrastructure improvements from the program total more than $2 million just in the past few years. That includes $575,000 for sewer expansion, $719,000 for a rail spur and $650,000 for an access road.

Those are projects that aided economic development, helped residents and, in general, made Brookhaven and Lincoln County a better place to live and work.

Trump’s budget officials say the program isn’t well-targeted and doesn’t help the poorest populations. That might be correct, but the program could be overhauled instead of killed.

Thankfully, Congress will have the final say in what programs get cut or not, and it’s hard to imagine senators and representatives killing a program that helps voters in their districts.