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Commission seeks road money in grant

The saying goes, “the third time’s a charm,” but the Pike County Commission is hoping that in at least one instance, the second time will be.

That’s why the commission approved Monday to submit an identical application for its annual chance of receiving Community Block Development Grant funding from the state’s department of Environmental and Community Affairs.

In years when Pike County’s Road Department has had little funding to spare, County Engineer Russell Oliver said he’s hopeful the grant will be favored this year.

“We were told it’s possible resubmitting the same application would increase our chances of getting funding, and those roads still need work,” Oliver said.

“Those roads” are County Roads 5521, 2259, 3341 and 2270.

If awarded the $400,000 grant, the county would have the ability to resurface County Road 5521, located east of Troy, and rehabilitate County Roads 3341, also known as St. John’s Church Road in Terintum, 2270, known as Center Ridge Church Road south of Springhill, and 2259, in the Springhill community.

Oliver said these roads are in great need of repair.

“They are cracked in some places severely, and the edges are raveled off so they are a little more narrow than they used to be,” Oliver said. “They are just very rough.”

The commission was set to approve the grant application in its regularly-scheduled meeting last Monday, but in the absence of a quorum present, it had to call a special meeting to meet the grant application deadline Aug. 2. Oliver said the commission should receive notice on whether it was granted the award in late September or early October.

“The resolution to apply for this grant had to be passed and sent in in time for the grant deadline, and we didn’t want to jeopardize that,” Oliver said.

If the county does receive the funding, it will be required to match an estimated $329,000 of in-kind expenses and some $193,000 of cash money.

An example of in-kind work would be services the road department crew could provide locally, like grading, drainage or surveying, Oliver said.

Since the road department has been struggling financially in the last year, the county would have to find a way to meet the match requirements.

“If we’re fortunate enough to be awarded the CDBG grant we’ve applied for, we’ll have to search out some financial remedies that may include borrowing the matching money,” said County Administrator Harry Sanders. “Borrowing the money would be the last resort.”

The commission will meet again Monday, July 26.