Mayor Micki Ball announced on February 11, 2016 that the City of Sandy Oaks lost a $75,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
According to Mayor Ball, HUD changed the guidelines on how they judge income levels. She told the City Council that an economic census was mailed out to the community and that not enough people filled it out, so HUD ranked the area as having a higher economic status.
The Committee to Incorporate Sandy Oaks, including Pedro Orduno and former Mayor Jim Clement, claimed 52% of the area lived below the poverty level. Gaining multiple CDBG grants was a goal of CISO and those pushing to become a city.
Bexar County Commissioner’s Court had approved the $75,000 CDBG grant in July of 2015 for the purpose of creating a Master Plan for the city. The Master Plan would have payed for an engineering firm to assess what needed to be done in the city and how the city could go about achieving the tasks set out by the engineers.
Mayor Ball said “The good news is we don’t have to have a Master Plan, it’s not a requirement for a new city.”
The Mayor told the City Council the city could still proceed with getting the CDBG grant, saying
…it’s very labor intensive, it’s very important that it be done to their exact standards, and the deadline for filing for any project this year is March 31st. There’s just no time to get it done. So for this fiscal period I don’t see us having any CDBG funding at all.
None of the City Council members expressed interest in pushing for a project to file before the deadline.
Ball said the qualification rate was %36 percent. A minimum of 51% is required to qualify.
Micki Ball was the only City Council member to vote against the application for the CDBG grant in January of 2015 when the city applied for it.