Members of community groups seeking federal grants for programs that serve low-income areas of the city expressed frustration during a meeting recently at the red tape involved.
The comments came last week as the City Council approved about $448,000 in requests for federal Community Development Block Grant funds.
Even when the city approves the applications, however, funding is far from assured and takes an average of 18 months to reach the people who will use it, city officials said.
"Anything approved here tonight, and that gets approved at the county and federal levels, will probably not get funding until February, 1996," City Manager Bob D'Amato told the applicants.
That news left community groups frustrated.
Ken Luna, who works with youths at the Cathy Torrez Learning Center, said he's waiting for money to keep the center open at night for a basketball program to keep young people off the streets.
He told the council that applicants "lose their enthusiasm over time" while they wait for the money.
The city typically receives $150,000 to $250,000 a year in grant funds. The county will make recommendations from the list approved by the council and the federal government will have final say on who gets funds.