Trump's Budget Proposal Could Mean Major Cuts To City Projects, Services
President Donald Trump’s budget team release a detailed proposal for the 2018 fiscal year which includes major cuts to public lands and social services in Utah. It also includes the complete elimination of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
More than a dozen cities across Utah including Logan, Clearfield, Sandy and St. George received CDBG funding last year for projects ranging from helping victims of domestic violence to repairing sidewalks.
Salt Lake City receives millions of dollars from the program and Mayor Jackie Biskupski has been a vocal opponent of its elimination. Earlier this month she described how a disabled resident was able to get needed home repairs through a CDBG grant.
“Construction crews installed new flooring to prevent her from falling, a new kitchen unit that provided her access to her stove for the very first time, and a safer shower and toilet for better mobility,” Biskupski said.
Last year Salt Lake City received more than $5 million in CDBG funds that have gone toward everything from homeless services and affordable housing to playground maintenance.
Mike Akerlow with the Department of Community and Neighborhood Development says cities have been dealing with federal cuts for nearly a decade.
“We have become much more strategic on how these funds are used,” Ackerlow says. “We want to see more outcomes. But the problem is when these go completely away, (we’re) kind of left empty-handed. We really do rely on these funds.”
Congress will consider Trump’s budget suggestions but will ultimately pass a budget of its own.