Council votes 5-2 to take away NELCDC funding

Council votes 5-2 to take away NELCDC funding

The Lubbock City Council addressed critical budget and spending items at its meeting Thursday night.

One familiar item was a discussion about the allocation and use of funds dedicated to North & East Lubbock redevelopment.

Those funds have previously been given to North and East Lubbock Community Development Corporation or the NELCDC. However, that organization's spending and accounting have been questioned.

NELCDC is a nonprofit that requested $354,900 for its 2017-2018 budget.

Recent council work sessions have focused on the organization spending 92 percent of its budget on administrative costs.

Thursday night there were some concerned citizens who didn't want to see the money that is supposed to be benefiting their neighborhood stay in the hands of the NELCDC.

"I'm standing tonight on behalf of community members, the champions are in the community. We're waiting for a community to be developed. We want the money, the funds to stay in the community but not to stay stagnant," said one concerned Lubbock citizen.

Council Member Shelia Patterson Harris spoke out about how important these funds were to her district.

Her concern was that taking away NELCDC would scatter things even more and run the risk of diluting the number of people who could be served.

"I'm not caught up in an organization, I'm caught up in the mission that will impact the community of the folks that I represent," Patterson Harris said.

The motion to move the $354,900 from the NELCDC to the city's community development fund passed with a 5-2 decision.

The city's budget for the 2017-2018 year also passed with the tax rate remaining the same.

However, it will produce more tax revenue because of increased appraisals and new construction.

The details for how the $354,000 will be used and the exact area the money will benefit will be discussed on a later agenda, but we do know it will provide up to $15,000 for minor rehab projects for owner occupied homes in North and East Lubbock.

A minimum of 20 homes are expected to be assisted the first year.

More information about what was approved can be found below.

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