The Leesburg Town Council is hoping that federal grant money can help improve one of the town’s most highly-trafficked pedestrian areas.
On Tuesday, the council voted unanimously to apply to Loudoun County for Fiscal Year 2019 Community Development Grant Block funding. The CDBG program is a federal program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Locally, the county’s Department of Family Services administers the program for HUD. Projects receiving funding must benefit low- or moderate-income persons.
Rather than submit just one project, the town hopes that a bundle of related projects can qualify for funding this year. The submitted projects include: construction of a 170-foot sidewalk on the north side of Edwards Ferry Road between Heritage Way and the Shenandoah Office Building, where the Department of Family Services is located; a new bus shelter on the north side of Edwards Ferry Road east of Heritage Way; a new bus shelter on the south side of Edwards Ferry Road west of Heritage Way; and improved bus stop signage with route maps throughout town, a total of 100 signs.
Deputy Town Manager Keith Markel said town staff identified those projects based on talks with both the Department of Family Services and after observing the high amount of pedestrian traffic in the general area. Markel said family services staff members have noted their concerns surrounding residents’ accessibility to the building.
The total cost for the projects is $140,000. If awarded the grant funding, the town would be responsible for a 70 percent match to federal funding, meaning the town could be on the hook for $98,000. Markel said if the town is successful in achieving the funding, the town staff will ask the county to do a 50/50 match on the town’s required portion of the funding since the improvements would benefit those using the county family services building. The remaining funds would come from the town’s allocation of funds from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.