LOMPOC, Calif. - Lompoc city council will begin discussions on Tuesday regarding the possibility of cutting ties with a county program that provides money for community development.
Lompoc is currently a member of the Urban County Partnership, where the county gives them money for various projects. If they end their agreement, the city says it could have more control over where these dollars go and when to use them.
"It really is infusing important funds into the community to create jobs, improve quality of lives for those in our community," says Teresa Gallavan, Assistant City Administrator.
Gallavan is talking about the money that comes from the Community Development Block Grant program. That grant money is currently being used to fix up baseball fields at a city park, a roof project for the Lompoc library, and the new community center off Ocean Avenue. The city receives those grants from the Urban County Partnership in Santa Barbara County.
Discussions will begin at Tuesday's city council meeting to cut ties with the partnership. Ending the agreement would allow the city to apply to become an entitlement city and get government funding sent straight to the city instead of having to go through the county.
"If you aren't a part of the Urban County Partnership and you become an entitlement city, there is some thought that you might receive additional funding or greater entitlement fund," says Gallavan.
Santa Maria has been an entitlement city since 1975. Santa Maria City Management Analyst Mark van de Kamp says it takes a lot of the hassle out of dealing with the county.
"We can obtain the money directly without any added layer of oversight," said van de Kamp.
Lompoc's membership with the Urban County Partnership is set to last through 2015 unless they choose to leave.
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