After receiving extra funding from the federal government, the Lodi City Council awarded grant money for the first time on Wednesday to a local community college’s small business development program, which already has a track record in Lodi.
The city got $52,100 more than it was expecting from the federal Community Development Block Grant program. The extra money, coupled with $60,286 of grant money for next year left city officials with more than $100,000 to spend on community development projects.
Of that, the Small Business Development Center at San Joaquin Delta College will receive $10,000 to help foster small business growth in Lodi.
While this is the first time the city has given the center money, Councilwoman JoAnne Mounce said that in her job as a certified public accountant working with small businesses in Lodi — including one Downtown that now has four employees — the Delta College program helped write business plans and find start-up funds.
Mounce did not name the businesses, and after the meeting said she couldn’t because of her confidential work with the companies.
“I saw the product of the work (the center) helped them with, and I thought it was very good work,” Mounce said.
She said the Small Business Development Center helped the companies develop business plans and projections, as well as helping them get loans from local banks.
These grant funds were awarded before the federal government shutdown took effect Tuesday, after Congress failed to pass a spending plan by Monday’s deadline.
City Manager Rad Bartlam said the federal shutdown shouldn’t affect the city’s ability to receive the block grant money. This is because the city is reimbursed for project expenses after the funds have been spent.
It usually takes between four to six weeks for the city to get its money after it submits paperwork to the federal government.
More than half the additional grant money, $57,237, is slated to fund the city’s years-long effort to bring the Grape Bowl in line with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
Hutchins Street Square will also receive $26,792 as part of the new spending plan for ADA improvements, and an additional $7,500 for the public pool in the Square to put in a new chair lift that helps people with disabilities get in and out of the water.
Both the city’s hunger relief program and feral cat sterilization program received more money from the block grant.
Of the money left over from last year, the biggest chunk came from of the Hale Park basketball court resurfacing, which came in $38,720 under budget.
Another $14,211 of the unused money came from the city’s graffiti removal program.
Contact reporter Todd Allen Wilson at email@example.com.