A residential survey is set to take place in the city this month to determine the percentage of low to moderate income households in Waupaca.
Brennan Kane, the city’s development director, said the surveys will likely be mailed out in early to mid January.
The common council voted to do so during its Dec. 16 meeting to see if the city qualifies for the Community Development Block Grant Program.
The CDBG program is administered through the Wisconsin Department of Administration Bureau of Community Development and works to ensure decent affordable housing, provide services to the most vulnerable in communities and to create jobs through the expansion and retention of businesses.
Kane told the council that as work continues on a vision for the Main Street area, the city wants to leverage as much grant funding as possible.
The CDBG program is a funding source the city is considering.
However, the city currently does not meet the Lower/Moderate Income (LMI) requirements to qualify for its grant dollars.
Based on the 2010 Census data, Waupaca’s LMI is 49.5 percent, and that number needs to be 51 percent in order for a community to qualify.
Nathan Woods, an intern with the city, told the council a grant has the capacity of bringing hundreds of thousands of dollars into the city.
The city learned it may do a random selection survey to see if its meets that minimum LMI.
If the city does meet it, the financial opportunities would be endless, according to Kane.
Grant dollars could be used for the planning and reconstruction of Main Street, as well as for public works projects, including physical buildings, street reconstruction and infrastructure improvements, he said.
“The Main Street improvements would benefit the whole community,” Kane said.
There are about 2,700 households in the city, and about 20 percent of those households will be surveyed.
“We need 90 percent back,” Kane said. “If we don’t get enough back on the first try, we may have to go door to door on the second round.”
It will be a random sampling and will include apartment buildings and retirement homes.
“This is not new to the city,” he said. “It’s done similar processes in the past.”