City Council Community Development Block Grant Discussion

This week’s Port Huron City Council meeting drew a crowd for a variety of community topics that were discussed, namely the discussion of a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for local non-profit SONS. Several citizens spoke in favor of a proposal from the SONS organization which stands for Saving Our Neighborhoods and Streets. SONS hopes to receive a Community Development Block Grant for a new building on their 9.5 acres of property on Electric Avenue on Port Huron’s south side.

SONS Executive Director, Tyrone Burrell, told the council that the organization has been operating in Port Huron for 28 years and has served over 15,000 children with their outreach programs. The organization is planning a $450,000 youth center to be built on the property, which was donated in 2015. Several people spoke about the value of a physical building for the community. Resident Sharon Bender said that SONS’ “influence is vital” to Port Huron. 

In other topics of discussion at the meeting, Arnie Koontz of the Blue Water Rescue Mission also requested consideration for funding for a veteran’s wing for the shelter he runs on Port Huron’s south side. Along with the CDBG hearing, a presentation was given by Katey Posey and Joi Price of the Community Development office regarding the Pride in Port Huron program that has worked to address blight concerns and assist in housing rehab and neighborhood development. Cynthia Cutright made her first council appearance as the new DDA Director. Some citizens addressed their perception of unfair blight targeting to which the Mayor assured that the council would look into the issue.

Reporting for WGRT, Karly Hurley.