NORMAL — Anticipating increasing COVID-19-related hardships, the Normal Town Council will consider boosting a coronavirus housing assistance program.
Normal launched a COVID-19 housing assistance program in September to help Normal residents struggling with rent and utilities because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The program was created through a partnership with Mid Central Community Action.
Normal used $100,000 of $246,067 in Community Development Block Grant funding, received as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, to fund the housing program.
On Monday the town council will consider allocating a remaining $143,262 in CDBG-CV (coronavirus) funds for the program, said Normal City Manager Pam Reece.
The program has served a total five eligible, income-qualified households in paying rent or utilities since September for a total $5,623.13.
As other community resources are depleted, and the statewide eviction moratorium expires Dec. 12, the town is anticipating an increase in residents requiring financial assistance, said Reece.
"We believe that there will be much higher access to the program soon because some other funding sources are being exhausted in the community," she said.
Normal received a second allocation of $335,359 in CDBG-CV funds from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development in September, said Reece. The town is assessing how to best utilize those funds and expects to present a proposal to the council in January.
The Normal Town Council meeting will kick-off Monday night with a 6:15 p.m. work session discussing issues related to the pandemic.
Property tax levy
In other business, the Normal Town Council is set to approve continuing the current property tax levy of $13,055,328 and a $1.4691 tax rate on Monday.
If approved, that means about the same would be paid in taxes, provided there are no changes to the property.
Officials expect the town's equalized assessed value — the total taxable value of property in the town — to remain unchanged from last year at $88,656,476.
Council will also consider authorizing abating 2020 property taxes for debt services, said Reece. This means the town will not use property tax as a revenue source to pay the town's bond principal and interest, she said.
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Contact Sierra Henry at 309-820-3234. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_sierrahenry.