Utah County has recently changed its status to secure federal low-income funds to help first time home buyers. Tired of getting shorted on federal grant money for low income areas, Utah County mayors have done an end-run around the state going straight to the feds.
The county is getting money currently through a state administrator and the commissioner has felt that the county was getting short changed on the distribution of funds. Recently the county commission voted to change the status to a rural county from a small-city county. This change will allow the county to apply for direct federal money. The change will also allow the county to by-pass the state administrator and work directly with the federal government. Getting money from the feds directly may allow for an additional $600,000 to $700,000 a year that can be placed by Utah County.
The county has waged a long battle with MAG and the state over CDBG money and other programs, eventually dropping out of the organization in 2005 over funding issues, then rejoining in 2007. “The move to a new category to get more CDBG funding is likely going to mean less money for Summit and Wasatch counties,” said MAG executive director Andrew Jackson.