Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Mark Wineka
Salisbury Post
The city of Salisbury will have a Community Development Department budget of $483,295 for 2008-2009, down 8 percent from the current year.
Salisbury uses the funds to buy, rehabilitate and resell homes. They also support assistance to owner-occupied housing; new construction; emergency repairs; down payment and closing cost assistance; neighborhood improvements; and assistance to public service groups.
Revenues come from the federal Community Development Block Grant ($305,040), the federal HOME program ($118,255); and program income ($60,000).
Public hearings were held in February in the West End and Park Avenue neighborhoods on the proposed budget.
Salisbury City Council also held a public hearing Tuesday and heard requests for funding assistance from public service groups that included Rowan Helping Ministries, the Community Care Clinic and Master Gardener program.
The city is allowed to allocate 15 percent of its Community Development Block Grant to public service groups.
Dianne Scott, executive director of Rowan Helping Ministries, requested $28,000 to assist with the overnight shelter and its part-time supervisors’ salaries.
Scott said nine of the 13 shelter employees are part-time, and many of those employees have been laid off from other jobs, are on disability or are seeking additional income for their families.
Connie Antosek, executive director of the Community Care Clinic, asked for $15,000 from the Community Development program.
The free clinic offers medical, dental and pharmaceutical assistance to the uninsured and low-income individuals.
Carole Massey and Darrell Blackwelder spoke on behalf of Master Gardeners and their work with the West End Community Park and Garden off Brenner Avenue.
They requested $2,000. The park and programs feature raised beds, a perennial border, numerous workshops and information sessions, turf plots, field days, garden boxes for children, bird and butterfly programs for children, a shade garden and more.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263, or mwineka