DREAM BIG: Brundidge council explores options for CDBG grant funding

Published 3:00 am Saturday, June 17, 2017

A new splash pad and the removal of dilapidated buildings are among the projects Brundidge council members could pursue in the next round of grant applications.

The Brundidge City Council is held a work session Thursday to discuss the city’s eligibility for Community Development Block Grant funding that deadlines August 31.

“The original deadline was August 18 but it has been extended so we have time to look more closely at the CDBG program and how it works,” said Britt Thomas, Brundidge city manager.

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In 2016, the council welcomed a new mayor and two new council members. Thomas said the work session provided an opportunity to look back at the last grant cycle in which the city applied and forward to the possibilities for future funding for either competitive or community enhancement grants.

In the previous CBDG cycle, the city elected to apply for a $350,000 CDBG matching grant for a splash pad park. The grant was not funded.

“The council could decide to come back with the same grant application but the same decision could be reached,” Thomas said. “We had a donor from the private sector who pledge $100,000 to the project if it were funded. I had thought that would increase our chance for funding.”

Whether that pledge is still on the table, Thomas did not say.

Other grants for which the City of Brundidge could be eligible are for infrastructure and sewer projects and also for the removable of dilapidated houses or commercial buildings.

“We have buildings that could quality for removal if we chose to apply for that type of grant,” Thomas said. “We have four-inch water lines in some areas of the city, including Oak and Lee streets. Those lines could be replaced with six-inch lines if the council decided to go that route.”

Thomas said the city also has some areas with sewer infiltration and the council might want to take that into consideration.   

Grant applications are sometimes looked at more favorably when they are paired with another eligible purpose, for example water and sewer, Thomas said.

Swimming pools are considered eligible purposes, however, Thomas said those type grants are not funded often, especially for small cities like Brundidge.    

Thomas said Brundidge is eligible to apply for federal and state funding and has been successful because of its demographics.

The Brundidge City Council will discuss its eligibility for CDBG funding at its Tuesday meeting. The council meets at 6 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at Brundidge City Hall. The meetings are open to the public.