Month: June 2020

News from the Research Desk Blog

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program

Each year, the Village of Mount Prospect receives an allocation of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). CDBG funds are intended to create viable communities by providing decent housing, a suitable living environment and expanded economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents.

The Village has two CDBG documents available for a public review period from June 29 – July 6, 2020. Hard copies of the plans are available in the Community Development Department, on the 2nd floor of Village Hall, and virtually through the links below. Comments may be submitted to the Community Development Department by phone at (847) 818-5328 or by email to alalagos@mountprospect.org.

Draft 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan / 2020 Action Plan

The Consolidated Plan is a comprehensive five-year planning document that identifies the overall housing and community development needs of the village, outlines available programs and resources, and establishes a strategy for prioritizing and addressing these needs. The goals of the Consolidated Plan are to provide decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expanded economic opportunities to benefit low and moderate-income residents. The 2020 Action Plan includes the projects and the funding allocations for the program year running from October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021.

Draft Substantial Amendments to 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan / 2019 Action Plan

On April 2, 2020, the Village of Mount Prospect was notified that it will receive a special allocation of Community Development Block Grant funds (CDBG-CV) to be used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the Coronavirus. This special allocation was authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed into law on March 27, 2020. These funds are available for use during Program Year (PY) 2019 and 2020 and must be expended by September 30, 2022. To obtain CDBG-CV funding for PY 2019, the Village must submit Substantial Amendments to HUD for both the 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan and the 2019 Action Plan.

For more information on the CDBG program, please visit the Village’s CDBG webpage.

New Web Resource: Science Reference Center

To meet the needs of curious learners, Mount Prospect Public Library now subscribes to Science Reference Center which contains full text articles from hundreds of science magazines, journals, reference books and a vast collection of images.

  • More than 210 full-text science periodicals
  • More than 770 full-text science reference books
  • More than a dozen full-text science encyclopedias
  • More than 810 full-text science essays
  • More than 4,000 full-text, full-length biographies of scientists
  • More than 300,000 high-quality images, including stunning images of landscapes, plants, animals, rock formations, fungi and more
  • Dozens of science animations
  • More than 580 science videos
  • Lesson plans

Curcubit Pests

Cucumbers, pumpkins, summer and winter squash are all from the Cucurbitaceae or gourd family. And being from the same family (as in taxonomic rank), all varieties of curcubits can succumb to the same diseases and pests.

minicuke flowerAt this stage of the growing season (i.e. late June), curcubits typically are flowering and getting ready to set fruit. One may even be seeing fruit on the vines of these plants. But now is the time to beware of common problems associated with these plants in the home garden.

Squash beetles, squash bugs, and squash vine borers are prevalent in northeast Illinois. These pests specifically target curcubits in all forms but there are methods to take that can eradicate or mitigate their effect on the plant’s health. Powdery mildew is another common problem associated with curcubits and can be avoided if they are well-spaced in the garden and located in full sun.

Here is some useful information on how to deal with these problems from the Illinois Extension: Good Growing–The Trouble with Curcubits.

IL Business Interruption Grant (BIG) Program begins June 23

From the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO):

DCEO will launch the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) by providing $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses in early July.
In the first wave of grants, priority will be given to small businesses that have been heavily restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic and are located in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs). Businesses eligible for the program must have experienced extreme hardship, demonstrated by eligible costs or losses in excess of the grant amount, since March and may continue to face depressed revenues or closure. Businesses must also have been in operation for at least three months prior to March 2020. An emphasis will also be placed on those businesses that are located in areas that have experienced recent property damage due to civil unrest, exacerbating the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Specifically, the program includes support for:

Businesses in DIAs – $20 million for businesses that are located in a subset of DIAs that have recently experienced significant property damage, providing 1,000 grants of $20,000 each

Bars and Restaurants – $20 million for bars and restaurants unable to offer outside service, providing at least 1,000 grants of up to $20,000 each

Barbershops and Salons – $10 million for barbershops and salons, providing 1,000 grants of $10,000 each

Gyms and Fitness Centers – $10 million for gyms and fitness centers that have lost significant revenue due to COVID-19, providing 500 grants of $20,000 each

The application for BIG will be available on Tuesday, June 23–keep checking site for updates.

Hot Weather Watering

Now that the days are warming up and hot weather is here to stay, watering the vegetable garden can be a tricky business. The most common mistake a new vegetable gardener can make is over-watering. Outdoor garden plants generally need about one inch of water per week.

watering cans

The best approach is to water deeply and infrequently (i.e. weekly). Deep watering encourages deep root growth–if watering is done often and sparsely, roots will will stay nearer the soil surface, eventually stunting plant growth. Rainfall should be taken in to account when assessing the water needs of garden plants. One strategy to ensure sufficient watering is to water at the base of a plant and count to 20. Come back in 30 minutes and check to see if the soil is moist down at least 6 inches.

The timing of when to water is also an important consideration. On hot days, it’s best to water very early in the morning before the sun is hot enough to evaporate the soil moisture of newly watered plants. Some home gardeners opt to water in the evening during hot weather, but if the leaves of garden plants are left wet overnight one risks the growth of powdery mildew.

The use of mulch (straw, wood chips, leaves etc.) can help retain soil moisture and suppress weed growth. In the case of tomatoes and potatoes, mulch serves an extra purpose as it keeps the soil from splashing on the leaves and infecting the plant with soil-borne fungi and disease.

Check out this article for more information: Illinois Extension: New Vegetable Garden Maintenance–Weed and Watering.