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Deadline extended for Town of Miami income survey: May help with street repair funds

The Town of Miami recently extended the deadline for residents to complete a survey that might help the town get money to pave its streets as well as other projects.

Residents now have until Friday, Aug. 30 to complete and return the one-page income survey.

To date, the town received 69 completed surveys but a total of 250 are needed, Miami Utilities Coordinator Tash Jerrols said.

“It’s beneficial for the Town of Miami, not just for streets but for other things, as well,” she said.

With assistance from Central Arizona Governments (CAG), the town is conducting a survey to determine the average income of residents within the town limits to seek funding for street improvements and other projects for the betterment of the town, Jerrols said.

All information will be kept in strictest confidence, as the actual survey information regarding family size, income and demographics will be separated from the bottom portion of the survey page, which asks for the respondents signature and address, Mayor Darryl Dalley said in a June 21 letter to residents.

Survey results will establish the percentage of low- to moderate income residents in the town, which will be used to determine the amount of federal grant money available for a specific project, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds may be used for public infrastructure, community facilities, housing, public services and economic development.

“Please help,” said Dalley, explaining that for the survey information to be valid, “we must have everyone respond.”

“There will be no way for anyone to connect the information you supply regarding your income and ethnic status with your name and address,” he said.

CAG, which will collect and tabulate the information, is bonded and conducts surveys of this nature on a regular basis, Dalley said.

In his remarks during an earlier council meeting, Town Engineering Tech Josh Derhammer also emphasized that survey information collected is confidential and that the town will not use it. Rather, it will be sent directly to CAG, which will tabulate it.

“The community will be given grouped information, such as ‘20 percent of the respondents are persons with disabilities,’” Dalley said.

Community Development Manager Alan Urban, with CAG, said that all the household data is held confidential and is separated from the names and addresses.

“CAG is the keeper of the files. All the town will get in the end is the gross results—how many surveyed and how many were low/moderate households,” he said.
During the June 24 council meeting, Miami Town Manager Joe Heatherly said that the town gave CAG a list of every address within town limits.

“It was just random,” said Heatherly, explaining that, by law, the town is not allowed to “just pick and choose or to stack the deck with low income residents.”

Using a computer correlation, CAG extracted certain addresses on each street as a percentage.

Urban explained that for most types of projects a community needs 51% or more of low/moderate households to get funding. There are exceptions, such as for ADA or senior services types of projects, he added.

Homeowners are qualified individually for the Owner Occupied Housing Rehabilitation program, Urban said.

The ranking is based on the numbers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) LMISD, short for “Low to moderate income survey data,” he said. 

HUD defines what low to moderate is specific to each county. For Miami it is Gila County.

Urban explained that, because HUD did not find the town to have 51% or more low/moderate households, the town has two choices—survey to qualify the town or a neighborhood for funding or choose a project that qualifies without the low/moderate at 51% or more.

“The town wide streets project requires the 51%-plus, so we must physically survey the town and

submit the results to the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) for approval,” he said.

 Town residents are asked to get a survey from Miami Town Hall, 500 W. Sullivan St., and bring it back as soon as possible. The survey can also be downloaded here.
Those with questions about the survey or who have accessibility needs should contact Heatherly at 928-473-4403 or Alan Urban, with CAG, at 480-474-9300.

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