Council approves CDBG grant strategy

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 6, 2010

In a public hearing, the Brundidge City Council gave the go ahead to pursue a proposed concept in the application for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Thursday.

City Manager Britt Thomas and Grant Consultant Susan Monroe suggested the city offer a $100,000 match to maximize the cost effectiveness of some of the proposed projects and improve chances of being awarded the grant.

“If you put in $100,000 it will put you head and shoulders above everyone else,” said Monroe of the city’s competitive grant application.

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Last year the city narrowly missed obtaining the grant, which is distributed by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs based on a point system.

“My responsibility,” said Thomas, “is to help you get the money and improve the infrastructure where you can.”

The target areas for that improvement will be mostly south of S. A. Graham Blvd and west of Main Street.

The work will focus on water systems, sewer rehab and demolition of dilapidated structures.

“We are looking at trying to fix the water systems down there,” Monroe said of one big part of the proposed project.

Thomas elaborated.

“The water service to the citizens is OK, the fire protection is lacking,” he said.

Thomas added that much of the work will have to be addressed by the city eventually no matter what.

Later in the meeting, the council adopted a resolution that gave the city’s consent for the Southeast Alabama Gas District (SEAGD) to create a wholesale entity, the Southeast Alabama Gas Supply District.

Thomas said the purpose of the Supply District is to ultimately continue providing a stable and reasonably priced source of gas for its customers.

In other business Thomas urged aspiring homeowners with mid to low-level incomes to look into the USDA Direct Rural Housing Loan Program. The program aims to provide affordable housing to individuals who might otherwise have trouble obtaining it.

Thomas said anyone needing more info should come to city hall and fill out an application.

CAPTION: Final touches are being done on Brundidge’s Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library expansion. A USDA grant that would help the city purchase furniture and shelving for the library has been approved by the state and is now in Washington awaiting approval.