By DAVID LOPEZ
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released San Benito from a debt of $738,000 in Community Development Block Grant money after finding that the funds were not misappropriated.
During Tuesday’s city commission meeting, Emergency Management Coordinator Fred Bell updated commissioners on HUD’s on-site monitoring of the City’s Community Block Development Grant (CDBG).
In April 2019, HUD informed the City that San Benito would go under an audit of the CDBG program, eventually issuing six findings in September. In December, HUD notified the City that they owed $738,000 for allegedly misappropriating those funds in 2004 on various streets, among them South Bowie and South Travis, that did not meet HUD’s 51 percent low-income eligibility rate.
The City was given the option of returning these funds to the HUD office to reallocate or conduct an Income Survey.
In April of this year, HUD responded and advised that based on the City’s audit and submission of documents, the balance of Ineligible costs was $228,633.80.
On June 18, HUD informed the City that that, based on the documentation provided by City staff, all outstanding findings regarding ineligible costs associated with the street improvements in 2004 had been resolved and the City would not be required to conduct an Income Survey or return any funds to HUD.
In a statement to the press, Bell stated, “I am very proud of the staff’s work. It took many employees and a lot of time to locate, review, and summarize the documents dating back to 2004.”
Editor’s note: This article has been edited for length. To read the full story, click here or make sure to grab a copy of the July 10-16, 2020 issue of the NEWS.