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Published: Saturday, 10/23/2004

$11.1M to go for projects in Toledo

The city of Toledo has assembled a fund of $11.1 million in grants and loans to focus on a small number of bold housing and neighborhood development projects in the city, Mayor Jack Ford announced yesterday.

Mr. Ford, joined by about two dozen local housing and community development officials, said the city will accept proposals for the money through Dec. 14.

The event took place in the 3100 block of North Ontario Street, lined with new single-family houses on one side and the remains of an old auto parts warehouse on the other side. Nearby was the Manhattan Marsh wetlands area.

Officials believe the location, also near the planned site of a new Chase Elementary School, is one that could attract new home buyers, if it is developed right.

The fund includes:

• $2.8 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the construction of low-income housing.

• $2.8 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for brownfield cleanup and testing.

• $750,000 for lead paint abatement from the federal government.

• $500,000 that will come from the city s economic development loan pool.

• $250,000 for facade grants.

In addition, the Local Initiatives Support Corp. has committed up to $1 million in financing for each of four different proposals.

The projects are expected to coordinate with school construction being carried out by Toledo Public Schools.

Mr. Ford said the idea is to make better use of the federal grants the city receives.

We ve spent probably hundreds of millions of dollars piecemeal over the last 29 years, Mr. Ford said.

Winning proposals would include mixed-use development that follows smart-growth principles, such as offering bike and walking trails, reuse of existing infrastructure, common green space, and encouragement of a sense of place.

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