By Dave Fidlin


In an effort to spur economic development opportunities within the community, the City of Whitewater will partner with an agency outside the county.

The Common Council on Sept. 15 backed a proposal to enter into an agreement with the Waukesha County Department of Parks and Lane Use and apply for funds through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

Traditionally, CDBG funds, which come from the federal government, can only be used in narrow instances, including efforts to eliminate blight and address potentially under-served members of the community, including the elderly and persons with disabilities.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) oversees the CDBG program.

By entering into a cooperative agreement with Waukesha County, Whitewater will take part in a CDBG-related initiative known as the Home Investment Partnership Program.

“Your participation in the Home … program helps to make the funds available to low and moderate income homebuyers, homeowners, nonprofit agencies, affordable housing developers and local businesses in your community,” Dale Shaver, director of the Waukesha County Department of Parks and Lane Use, wrote in a memo to Whitewater officials.

Because of the sheer size of its population, Milwaukee County has traditionally had a more insulated use of CDBG funding. But Waukesha County has partnered with a number of surrounding counties in obtaining GDBG dollars.

Municipalities falling within Jefferson, Ozaukee and Washington counties can enter into an agreement with Waukesha County to obtain the CDBG funds.

Shaver said Waukesha County has successfully obtained CDBG funds since 1988 and has been able to allocate some of those funds toward the Home program since 1998.


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