Breaking It Down: Community Development Block Grant Administrative Costs

Thanks to Michael Murphy, Executive Director of the Community Development department in Kingston for being helpful and responding quickly to provide the information below.

On the consultant side, we were told that currently the only outside consultant used is one that audits his department and is covered by the budgeted administrative costs (as noted below).

If you have any further questions, in addition to being in touch with Michael directly, you can also contact Ward 7 Alderman Bill Reynolds who chairs the Community Development committee. You can find all of Bill’s current information by visiting the Ward 7 Yahoo Group

There is apparently a meeting for the Community Development Committee on April 7th to vote on the grant items that were listed in the paper this week. Although it is not yet on the calendar, please check the city of Kingston’s website municipal calendar for April to learn more.

– Rebecca Martin

“I am the Director of Community Development and oversee the CDBG money for the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. The department consist of 3 individuals including myself.

The Office of Community Development funds many needed organizations throughout the Midtown Area which directly benefits over 700-800 youths as well as needy Adults. Every year the office tries to spread out the money to as many organizations and projects as possible. These programs and projects do not run by themselves, they have to be administered, as required by the Federal Government. Our office has 3 full time individuals and the administrative cost pays for salary and benefits. In addition, our office has to pay for our own supplies, office furniture, office equipment(Computers,etc.)and auditor fees out of the administrative part of the grant. The grant requires a full audit by an independent CPA firm.

The following is the Office Budget:

Salaries(3): $101,250.00
Benefits(3): 30,312.00
CPA Audit: 12,000.00
Office Eqiup: 4,000.00
Office Furn: 1,400.00
Office Supplies: 2,800.00
Public Notice Ads: 3,150.00
Misc: 2,000.00
TOTAL: $156,912.00

The City of Kingston DOES NOT pay one cent to fund this office. It is completely autonomous.”

3 thoughts on “Breaking It Down: Community Development Block Grant Administrative Costs

  1. I might actually be interested in a job description for each employee (3) Is it possible to eliminate certain jobs and combine them in another dept so that expenses like office supplies, furniture and such would be shared.? Is this the amount that Federal Government has said they will pay for administrations costs or was it the amount submitted by Kingston CDBG?These grants are made public each year. Does it take a whole year of employees doing grant writing to get ready for distribution of the funds when this seems to be their only responsibility? Could this dept. be combined with Economic Development to save funds.? Without knowing the job descriptions of each employee, it is hard to answer these questions but it might be something that the common council could look into. After all, the grant was set up to help communities maintain or develop some programs. It would benefit many if more funds were diverted to those programs without administrations gobbling up a chunk of monies. I guess it comes down to transparency in our local government.

  2. I have no idea what this department is actually doing. They have a large presence that says they ARE part of the city, and they certainly are marching to the orders of the city… but there is no other information: 160K of administration should at least have some very fine reporting on the projects, on how the monies actually were spent, what was achieved… I see nothing published, not a thing.
    Anyone in such a position should be smacking people in the face with project successes, tooting their horn, looking for more…
    At the very least, one might expect they would expect reports from the supported organizations.
    It’s one thing to know that money isn’t being wasted, it’s another thing to really want to see some progress, to celebrate success.
    I’d like to see it. Other people, more closely involved and affected should demand it.

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