Cuts in Federal Funding Delay North Tyler Improvements

It's one of Tyler's most historic sectors, and many residents living in North Tyler believe a little face lift could put their community back on the map.

The city agrees. Tyler's Neighborhood Services Department has already made improvements to two neighborhoods in the northern sector. However, cuts in federal funding are expected to delay improvements that are scheduled for next year. About 26 streets, bordered by Bow and 25th, are slated for repairs. But only 24 streets will see the changes they're slated for, says City Manager Bob Turner. Work will be scheduled based on priority, he adds. The two remaining streets will have to wait until  next fiscal year.

Even though Turner doesn't expect community residents to feel the impact of the cuts. He does worry about federal budget cuts becoming a trend. For the past two years, the city has noticed a drop in government grants.

"If this is a trend, I hope it plugs this year," he says. "The problem with a trend is that if you continue to see 10 percent cuts every year, you have a real problem...because eventually there will be nothing left"

The city will also cut back on how many homes it restores in the area. They were able to refurbish 25 abandoned and old homes last year. The new budget will cover about 20.  City manager, Bob Turner says that could change if contractors are competitive in their prices.

For the 2003-2004 fiscal year, The Community Development Block Program will have about 1.2 million in federal funding...and more than $500,000 for the Home program.

Turner says, overall, Tyler fared better than most cities nationwide. He estimates most communities experienced about a 20 to 30 percent loss in funding.