MODESTO -- More than 50,000 people in parts of Stanislaus County received so-called essential services from housing and emergency shelter programs, county supervisors learned Tuesday in an annual report on community development block grants and neighborhood stabilization.
Ceres, Oakdale, Patterson, Newman, Hughson, Waterford and unincorporated county areas received $2.4 million in grants. Projects included sewer system design for Modesto's airport and Parklawn neighborhoods, downtown Ceres and Patterson improvements, and computer training for 880 low-income people.
Fair-housing mediation helped resolve 64 disputes, and 518 people received housing information. Neighborhood Stabilization Program money was used to acquire 10 vacant, foreclosed homes in the past year for a total of 91 since that program started, and 17 were resold to first-time home buyers last year for a total of 57, all of whom got help with down payments.
Block grants put solar panels on 26 homes and trained 20 installers. After-school nutrition programs reached 550 students, each of whom received bags of groceries twice each month.
Federal money helps several food banks, shelters and other nonprofit organizations, supervisors were told.
In other action
Also Tuesday, by unanimous vote, supervisors agreed to:
Expand the sheriff's home detention program to include inmates being held in lieu of posting bail, to decrease jail crowding. About 100 inmates with no outstanding warrants might be eligible for electronic monitoring and could work instead of being incarcerated.
Support a public health epidemiologist's application for a permanent green card. Olivia Tong was hired in 2006 to study chronic and communicable diseases, and her work visa will expire next year. If "an extensive open recruitment" produces a qualified applicant who is a U.S. citizen, she would "be required to resign her position," a report says.
Accept a $191,000 grant for prosecuting auto insurance fraud. The money pays for an investigator and parts of salaries of a prosecutor and paralegal who also work on other cases. Last year, the team investigated 52 cases and prosecuted eight people on felony charges.
Close the Riverbank library during this year's Cheese and Wine Exposition, on Oct. 13.
Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2390.