City of Binghamton, New York

Mayor David: White House Budget Cuts Would Devastate Vital Binghamton Programs

3/20/2017

(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — Mayor Richard C. David joined officials from the Boys & Girls Club of Binghamton and Action for Older Persons to discuss the local impact of President Trump’s proposed federal spending plan. The plan calls for eliminating all funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which would mean a cut of $1.7 million in annual aid to the City of Binghamton.

"This program must not be eliminated," said Mayor David. “CDBG is one of the most transparent and effective ways the federal government can invest in local communities. In addition to providing local control of how funds are spend, CDBG is built for targeted investments to improve neighborhood quality of life.”

First established in 1974, CDBG is a flexible program that provides funding to address a wide range of community development needs through direct federal aid. In Binghamton, Mayor David has budgeted the City's $1.7 million annual allocation for capital projects like demolition programs, parks improvements, infrastructure upgrades and to fund department operations in code enforcement, economic development and engineering.

Since 2014, the City has spent the following on CDBG capital improvements:

  • Public Infrastructure: ​​ $820,420
  • Blight Demolitions:     $785,455
  • Parks Improvements: $460,435

"The projects which are most popular with Binghamton residents, such as demolitions and street repairs, are the same projects which would be cut under the President's plan," said Mayor David. "If this budget proposal is approved, popular programs could be eliminated or local taxes could skyrocket to cover their costs."

In addition to capital projects, the City also uses CDBG funds to contract with local human service agencies to serve high need populations including youth, senior citizens and low-income neighborhoods.

The President’s budget blueprint said “the program is not well-targeted to the poorest populations and has not demonstrated results.” Over the last three years in Binghamton, 97 percent of funds have been spent serving low to moderate income individuals. Results-based data is compiled annually regarding the number of individuals served, funds leveraged and much more.

Since 2014, the Boys & Girls Club of Binghamton has received $59,010 in CDBG funding for after school and summer youth employment programs in partnership with the City.

"Our programs empower youth with opportunities they might not have otherwise, improving outcomes and strengthening neighborhood environments," said Marybeth Smith, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Binghamton. “These are exactly the type of programs our community needs, and I thank Mayor David for shining a spotlight on what eliminating CDBG would mean for these kids."

Since 2014, Action For Older Persons has received $60,854​ in CDBG funding to assist hundreds of Binghamton seniors every year with health insurance counseling. Those services have yielded more than $350,000 in healthcare savings for the seniors served.

"In Binghamton, the demand for senior health care counseling grows every year," said Casondra Hamilton, Executive Director of Action for Older Persons. "Without CDBG funding, our programs which have provided substantial financial benefits for seniors would suffer if not cease to exist."

In addition to Action For Older Persons, since 2014 the City has funded $85,323 in senior home repairs and $27,596 in senior transportation programs.

Reiterating what Governor Cuomo said last week, these cuts do real, tangible harm to crucial services for hard-working residents in the City of Binghamton,” said Mayor David. “I have spoken directly to Governor Cuomo and federal lawmakers regarding the importance of CDBG to our community.”

Mayor David encouraged City residents to contact federal lawmakers and ask for their support of the CDBG program.

·         Senator Chuck Schumer: (202) 224-6542

·         Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: (202) 224-4451

·         Congresswoman Claudia Tenney: (202) 225-3665

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