By Shelby Stewart
Ortonville- During the regular Monday night meeting, the village council voted 4-3 to approve use of the 2022 program year Community Development Block Grant funds to be used towards HAVEN shelter and the Ortonville Community Relief Fund. The amount available for 2022 is $8,418.
Trustees Melanie Nivelt, Kay Green, and Anthony Randazzo voted against it. $2,500 would be applied towards HAVEN in Pontiac, and the remaining funds would be used towards OCEF.
“This grant is specifically to benefit low income housing or environment in your community,” said village president Tonja Brice. “Our waters are clean, our housing is safe, our streets are safe. This is meant for families in crisis. We can get grants for other things that we have access to, this is for our struggling families, and I would hate to see it used for a luxury instead of a need.”
There was also a motion made to use half of the funds for recreation facilities, or sidewalks if recreation facilities were not approved by the county, and the other half to youth services. The motion failed with a 3-4 vote, with trustees Nivelt, Green and Pat George voting for it.
“By no means am I saying these groups are not worthy. Since they are sitting okay, I just think we should perhaps look at at least 50 percent maybe being spent on those things,” said Nivelt. “I don’t look at flood drainage as a luxury, we have issues, and that money can be used for that.”
Last year, the funds were allocated for youth services, which went to Brandon Groveland Youth Assistance.