Cindy Matthews said she has lived in lower Masury for 60 years and watched as its streets, curbs and sidewalks have deteriorated.
“Anything to improve the look of my neighborhood, I will do,” she said
That’s why Matthews agreed to help the Brookfield trustees do some of the legwork in hopes of securing a Neighborhood Revitalization Grant from the state.
Matthews, three other volunteers and the trustees got their marching orders Dec. 18 to begin an income survey of residents in lower Masury. They will be walking the streets, knocking on doors.
If at least 51 percent of the total number of people who live in the households surveyed earn low or moderate incomes, the area would qualify for a grant that the trustees hope to use for projects in the neighborhood, said Julie Green, Trumbull County grants writer.
The grant is competitive, and there is no guarantee the township would receive it, even in Masury qualifies, Green said.
Specific projects would be determined through public meetings after the area is deemed to qualify, but the types of projects that could be undertaken include street repairs; sidewalk, curb and storm water drainage improvements; and the construction of a small park, she said.
The target area boundaries are Route 62 to the north and west, Standard Avenue to the east, the Hubbard Township line to the south and Bedford Road to the southwest.
To qualify, a single-person home can make no more than $34,400; two-person home, $39,300; four-person home, $49,100; and six-person home, $57,000.
Surveyors are to ask three questions: the address of the household; the total number of people living there; and the combined income of all people living in the home. A specific income figure is not required, just where the household income fits within a series of ranges of income. The names of anyone living there are not taken.
Based on the belief that there are 285 occupied homes in the area, the surveyors need to secure income information from 171, Green said.
Green prepared a list of homes chosen at random that the trustees and volunteers are to focus on, but they are allowed to deviate from the list if they are unable to get a response.
“We want to stick as close to this list as possible,” Green said. “The methodology is prescribed by the funding agency.”
There is no local match for the grant, which is federal money that is available through the state, and up to $500,000 could be awarded.
“It’s a 100-percent funded grant,” said Trustee Ron Haun. “It doesn’t cost you anything as a homeowner.”
The surveyors will wear identification badges. They are Trustees Haun, Gary Lees and Dan Suttles, and volunteers Matthews, Ken Zolnier, Bill Brown and Ron Komorek.
The survey needs to be completed as soon as possible because of the other work that has to be done in order to make the June application deadline, Green said.