Pflugerville City Council received an update June 25 regarding the five-year strategic plan being developed to secure Community Development Block Grant, or CDBG, funding for fiscal year 2024-25. Council members also opened the first of two public hearings to receive community input.

Two-minute impact

Annually, the city of Pflugerville receives grant funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. The money is intended to support affordable housing, suitable living environments—including infrastructure—and expand economic opportunities, according to city documents.

The city’s HUD grant consultant, WFN Consulting, conducted a survey earlier this year which highlighted some of the biggest concerns from residents.

WFN representative Eryca Fambro told council members of the 346 total survey responses, road and sidewalk improvements were the top concern, followed by inadequate public transportation.

Considering the feedback received by the survey, WFN has proposed a list of top priorities for the city to tackle over the next five years:
  • Improve public infrastructure and facilities
  • Improve access to recreation and enrichment services for youth and seniors
  • Improve workforce training
  • Improve access to transportation for senior and low-income residents
  • Program administration costs
The city is expected to receive $300,748 for FY 2024-25, and the following projects are being proposed:
  • Parkway Drive phase 1 construction: $270,748
  • Recreation scholarships for youth and seniors: $10,000
  • Workforce Solutions: $15,000
  • Planning and administration costs: $5,000
Written comments are currently being received by the city’s Planning Department until July 12. There will also be a final public hearing for community members to offer input July 9 at the regularly scheduled City Council meeting.

Those interested in submitting a comment can email [email protected].

The Planning and Zoning Commission will consider the final draft of the CDBG strategic plan Aug. 5, with final approval required by City Council Aug. 13.

Some context

In previous years, the city has had trouble reaching the roughly 20% of the community that would qualify for these types programs, only awarding about 1% of the federal funding for FY 2023-24, according to an update to City Council at the end of last year.

The Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation report presented to council in December outlined how the department had planned to used the allotted federal funds throughout FY 2023-24:
  • Streetlight improvements
  • Youth recreation scholarship program
  • Workforce development
  • Utility payments (water, wastewater and trash)
“It was challenging to meet all of the requirements. ... It's tough to meet the low- [to moderate-] income requirements,” Frazzell previously told Community Impact.

Frazzell explained that city staff is working with HUD to potentially roll over or reallocate some of the previous years’ funding.

He added that the community development department was not able to use funds planned for workforce training because Workforce Solutions Capital Area, the city's partner, already had other funding available and there were additional limitations for how the CDBG funding could be spent.

No dollars allocated for workforce training were expended in FY 2023-24.

The proposed amount of funding for Workforce Solutions has been reduced from previous years, Frazzell told Council members. The $15,000 for FY 2024-25 would cover an estimated five to seven individuals’ training programs.

What else?

The city began a public on-demand ride-share initiative in 2022, which provides reduced cost vouchers for those traveling within the city’s limits.

Though the service has seen a reported 300% increase in rides taken since its inception, residents in the survey noted its limitations with respect to larger metro connections, like the city of Austin.

The currently proposed projects for the next fiscal year do not include an expansion or evaluation of the city’s public transit system.

Council members have asked Frazzell and staff to look into previously unused CDBG funds for potential reallocation to address this concern from residents.

“I’ve got to give y’all all the credit in the world, because you started getting really creative about what to use CDBG dollars for outside of roads and infrastructure—so we can target and help those lower income families,” Place 4 City Council member Rudy Metayer said.