The City of Elyria is located in north-central Ohio, just a few miles south of Lake Erie on the western fringes of the Cleveland metropolitan area. As a US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) entitlement community, Elyria was required to submit an updated Consolidated Plan showing how the City planned to spend its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to assist low/moderate income individuals. The City was also required to submit an Annual Action Plan specifying how funds would be allocated on a yearly basis to meet the goals and objectives identified in the Consolidated Plan.
The City looked to McKenna planners to provide a fresh look to the Consolidated Plan and identify the City’s needs through a series of public outreach sessions with key stakeholders. McKenna planners worked with service providers and the City to prioritize and allocate funds that fit within required CDBG-eligible activity areas.
Along with code enforcement, youth recreation programming and public facility infrastructure improvements, the City ranked community safety high on it’s list of concerns. However, budgetary constraints threatened to force police layoffs. To preserve police ranks and public safety standards, McKenna planners worked with the City and HUD to identify a course of action that enabled the City to utilize CDBG funds to retain much needed safety services. The final plan provided the City with a roadmap for ensuring a safe and thriving downtown area and preserving the long-term fiscal health of the City and its businesses.