A photo of Matt Zone, senior vice president at Western Reserve Land Conservancy, introducing the organization’s work on the Cleveland Property Survey at at Cleveland City Council.Development, Planning and Sustainability Committee meeting.
Matt Zone, senior vice president at Western Reserve Land Conservancy, introduces the organization’s work on the Cleveland Property Survey. Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

Covered by Documenters Collin Cunningham and Daniel McLaughlin

What happened: Western Reserve Land Conservancy (WRLC) is surveying 170,000 Cleveland properties. The surveyors graded properties on an A-to-F scale. Director of Building and Housing Sally Martin O’Toole said houses that received an F will be prioritized for demolition. Isaac Robb, WRLC’s vice president of planning, said the survey is nearly finished. The survey data was collected by ward and owner type and includes additional information. The general public will only have access to a “stagnant” map, while more detailed information will be available to people only if they have a .edu, .org or .gov email address, according to Robb.

CDBG budget woes: Community Development Assistant Director Michiel Wackers told council members that the city received $30.4 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grants. This was $4 million less than the original estimate. The cut translated to a $23,000 per ward reduction in discretionary funding. Wackers said council members have $11 million in unspent discretionary funds. Cleveland City Council members pushed back on whether the funds were unspent or unallocated. They argued that unspent funds were the fault of the administration, not council members. The committee held the legislation, which notifies council of the funds, for further review.

Left wondering: Documenter Dan McLaughlin said, “The data from the city-wide property survey won’t be accessible to residents. Why not?”

Read the live tweet thread by Documenter Daniel McLaughlin:

City Council spent a few days discussing the Community Development Block Grant budget in February and March, and Documenters caught the whole thing! Get a refresher on the major takeaways.

Cleveland Documenters pays and trains people to cover public meetings where government officials discuss important issues and decide how to spend taxpayer money.

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