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W.V. TO MARK ALL THE GOOD THAT GRANTS DO

When you see the big green bows, then you will know all the ways community block grants help make your community a community.

In accord with a national observation, West Valley City is celebrating April 10 to April 16 as community development week. The bows, which sprout this week, will grace parks, streets, shelters and crises centers the federal monies have built and continue to support."People just don't understand what CDBG does for them," said Danielle Benson, housing and grants administrator. "We've finished the roadway (at 1300 West between 3300 South and 3900 South), the new District III Park, built storm drains and sidewalks in front of schools and completed the City Center. People should know what these grants do."

Community development block grants, now a 21-year-old federal government staple, have come under recent attack by lawmakers who say they're a byproduct of a wasteful Housing and Urban Development department. Last month, the House voted to rescind CDBG funds.

Among the Utah delegation, Republican Reps. Enid Waldholtz and Jim Hansen agreed to the cuts. But last week, based on Senate arguments for the programs' good deeds, the House agreed to continue this year's funding. Thanks in part to Democratic Rep. Bill Orton, West Valley City didn't lose an estimated $80,000 in development funds, Benson said.

"We just do some really important stuff with this. For it to get cut is just crazy to me," Benson said. "When people think HUD, they think public housing is going to be cut, but it's much more than public housing."

In West Valley, the DARE (drug awareness resistance education) program, community-oriented officers and a neighborhood coordinator position are made possible by CDBG funds. So are emergency food pantries at the Redwood Multi-Purpose Center, emergency home repairs programs, rape crisis centers and curb and gutter repairs.