DELANO, calif. (KGET) — City officials want to hear from residents on how $179,000 of a $500,000-federal grant should be used for community development and improvements.

Among the most pressing issues: are potable water, street repairs, and abandoned buildings.

It’s a chance to voice where improvements are needed in and around Delano as Councilmember Salvador Solorio put it.

“We need that community input in order to know where these funds need to go,” said Solorio. “It’s not only us making the decisions and coming together as a community.”

What can the grant, which supports cities and towns to develop viable urban communities, do for the growing town of more than 50,000 predominantly Latinx working-class residents?

“The funds that are left, aren’t a ton,” said Solorio. “It is enough to make an impact to make a change on a bump on the road that you drive on or whether some sore eye that you see.”

The funds, which are distributed annually thru the Community Development Block Grant program, can be used for direct action to the community, from the construction of necessary facilities to rehabbing current ones, to even improving access to water and sewer facilities.

Cris Cerda has lived his entire life in Delano.

“I agree, it’s not a lot,” said Cerda. “The biggest complaints that I hear are the roads or even not enough sidewalks, which is important for the youth.”

Cerda hopes his say in this will not only help the community now but hopefully encourage the future generations of Delano to participate and voice the concerns they have for their community.

“If we had more young people here, it would bring more attention here,” said Cerda. “They are residents, they’re our friends, they’re our neighbors, they have something to bring to the table.”

The first meeting is taking place Thursday, April 14 and a second meeting will happen on Tuesday, May 3 both at 5:30 pm at the Ellington Community Center. All are welcome and the Spanish-speaking community is highly encouraged to attend.