Pasco may use federal dollars for a new soccer complex and improvements in the Kurtzman Park neighborhood.
The city is working on divvying up about $843,000 from its 2011 Community Development Block Grant program.
City staff has recommended funding 11 of the 18 requests made by city departments and community agencies. The requests amount to more than $2.8 million.
The Pasco Planning Commission will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. today at Pasco City Hall to consider the requests. The city council will make a final decision after receiving the commission's recommendations.
The largest chunk of the money -- $333,540 -- is recommended for the Kurtzman Park neighborhood improvements.
Neighborhood residents have told the city they want street improvements, said Rick White, city community and economic development director. The city plans to use the grant dollars to pay for about two-thirds of the Kurtzman Park neighborhood improvements, with residents paying the rest through local improvement district assessments.
The city will finish street improvements, including curb, gutter and sidewalks in one part of the Kurtzman Park neighborhood in the next month, said Michael McShane, city engineer.
About $139,500 of the city's 2010 block grant has been spent on that phase of the neighborhood improvements.
Another $131,300 of the 2011 grant is recommended for the new east Pasco soccer complex.
The council decided to pursue a state grant for half of the $744,000 needed for the new complex last week. The federal grant would help cover the remaining cost.
The proposal would replace the four fields at the Road 36 soccer facility with eight fields south of the Tri-Cities Airport and east of Sun Willows Golf Course.
The proposed complex would build something that the community in east Pasco would use, White said.
The projects to get the money are chosen using priorities determined by the city council. "It's not easy saying no," White said.
City staff is recommending not giving $80,000 to the Pasco Downtown Development Association to complete four downtown facades.
Gloria Garcia, the association's interim executive director, said the four facades would be in addition to the seven that the organization hopes to complete this year.
The association has led efforts to revitalize downtown Pasco, but the city council has discussed taking a more hands-on approach and has discussed forming a public corporation to lead downtown efforts.
White said the association already has $165,000 from a previous grant cycle for the facade program that hasn't been spent.
The requests recommended for approval also include money for four city staff positions -- a code enforcement officer, a youth recreation specialist, a Martin Luther King Jr. Center recreation specialist and a Pasco Senior Center recreation specialist. Those same positions were supported by the grant program this year.
The city has used federal dollars for a code enforcement officer for the past 15 years. Without the federal money, the position wouldn't be possible, said Mitch Nickolds, Pasco inspection services manager.
The code enforcement officer is focused on addressing slum and blight issues in east and central Pasco, he said.
"It's an ongoing battle because we have so much property changing hands," Nickolds said.
Other projects recommended for approval include $50,000 to the Pasco Downtown Development Association for the Pasco Specialty Kitchen, $11,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Benton and Franklin Counties for energy efficient lighting and $4,000 to Catholic Family & Child Service for the volunteer chore services program.