New county grant fund could help ‘No Man’s Land’; advisory board members sought

       The Westside's “No Man's Land” could benefit from El Paso County becoming eligible for the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program April 1, according to DeAnne McCann, economic development manager for El Paso County.
       To help make CDBG spending decisions, the El Paso County Board of Commissioners is seeking volunteers to serve on a new Community Development Advisory Board (CDAB). Each CDAB member will represent one of the five commissioner districts. The district including No Man's Land is District 3.
       The grants would “carry out a wide range of community development activities directed toward revitalizing neighborhoods, economic development, and providing improved community facilities and services,” a county press release states.
       No Man's Land is a pocket of unincorporated land in the area of West Colorado Avenue just east of Manitou Springs. Its name comes in part because of infrastructure neglect that has led the city, county and Manitou to apply this year for a $9.5 million grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) for various improvements, including a new bridge over Fountain Creek.
       “I'd love to see somebody, possibly a business person, from that area (No Man's Land) be a member,” McCann said.
       Applications for CDAB are due Feb. 27.
       CDBG funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Colorado Springs has received CDBG funding for targeted low-to- moderate income “strategy areas” (including the older Westside) for many years.
       For more information, call the county at 520-6436.

Westside Pioneer/press release