Orem finalized its 2010-11 Community Development Block Grant disbursements Tuesday, with only minor changes to the recommendations made by the CDBG Citizen Advisory Commission.

Charlene Mackay, community and neighborhood services manager for Orem, told the City Council her office had been waiting for notification of this year's entitlement amount from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the federal entity that administers the program.

The funds totaled $663,259, and were combined with $15,000 in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, and $85,000 of repayment on the Business Revolving Loan Fund, for a total of $763,259 to be expended during the coming program year.

Derek Whetten represented commission members in outlining the recommendations and the reasoning behind them to the City Council before its vote.

By law, 15 percent of the CDBG entitlement, or $99,488 for Orem this year, can go to social service agencies or groups such as the Children's Justice Center, Family Support and Treatment Center, and Recreation and Habilitation Services. Members of the CDBG commission hear applications from these groups in formulating the recommendations to the City Council.

Councilwoman Margaret Black suggested that Orem Literacy Resources be awarded $4,000 rather than the $3,700 recommended by the commission, and, to make up the $300 difference, funds be reduced by $150 each to Community Action Services ($16,700), and the Food and Care Coalition of Utah Valley ($9,200). Those changes were approved in the council vote.

Other recipients of funds in the social services category are: Center for Women and Children in Crisis, $8,000; Children's Justice Center, $8,000; Community Health Connect, $2,850; Family Support and Treatment Center, $8,000; The Gathering Place (substance-abuse treatment), $4,000; Kids On the Move, $6,350; Mountainlands Community Health Center (primary and preventative health care), $11,350; Parent Education Resource Center, $3,000; Project Read, $5,688; Recreation and Habilitation Services, $8,350; House of Hope (substance-abuse treatment services for women and their children), $4,000.

Other CDBG funding includes: public safety, code enforcement officer to low-income, targeted neighborhoods, $120,000; housing rehabilitation (loans and grants for low- and moderate-income homeowners to repair single-family homes), $35,000; the Commission for Economic Development Business Revolving Loan Fund, $85,000; payment by Orem on a $3.2 million HUD loan for economic development and job creation, $115,000; curb, gutter and sidewalk improvements, $193,771; and program administration for the CBDG office, $115,000. Primary considerations in no particular order, he said, were: efficiency of an organization and leverage of funds; availability of other resources to groups; and ability to meet individuals' needs.

One secondary consideration was social investment -- the idea that if resources such as money and food are provided at a critical point, the timely aid could make a difference in helping a family keep their home or stay together.

Expectations of the applicants -- what was requested, and what has been received in the past -- were also secondary, he said.

"There really are a whole lot of needs in our community," Whetten said. "This is an unusual time in our economy and our community. We tried to step away from politics to give an unbiased recommendation."