Historic Downtown Florence Sign

FLORENCE — Old Town Florence will receive the bulk of the county’s share of federal Community Development Block Grant funding this year.

Wednesday the Pinal County Board of Supervisors approved the county’s CDBG of $1,301,489 for projects in the current fiscal year, including the hiring of a CDBG coordinator to administer the program.

The county will use the biggest part of this grant, $989,036, to upgrade water infrastructure in downtown Florence.

“Old Town Florence has an aging infrastructure and a failing water system. There is a need for equalized pressure; current pressure does not meet current standards and is not adequate for fire safety,” according to the county’s “Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice” report.

Another $165,000 will be used to rehabilitate homes for low- to moderate-income residents. Another $61,053 will pay for the coordinator’s position and $86,400 will reimburse Pinal County for its consulting fees.

Pinal County staff learned through surveys, interviews and public meetings that residents see five major needs: renovation and repair assistance for low-income and elderly residents and residents with disabilities; infrastructure improvements, particularly water and wastewater; affordable housing; housing and services for homeless people; and job training and employment supports, Dash told the Supervisors.

This is Pinal County’s first year of “entitlement status,” receiving its CDBG directly from the federal government instead of through the state. The supervisors on July 10 also approved the “Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice” and other reports related to the county’s CDBG.

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