Ten local governments, mainly those representing small communities, have landed more than $3.3 million in Community Development Block Grants, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Wednesday.
The grants will address water, sewer, housing, stormwater and street issues. Each year the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sends funding to Alabama to help communities improve the quality of life for their residents, and the state processes the money through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.
For larger municipalities like Dothan, HUD sends CDBG funds directly to those governing bodies.
Scott Farmer, executive director of the Southeast Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission, said the grants give cities a valuable resource, especially given their flexibility.
“It’s not a sidewalk grant or a sewer grant. The communities can set their priorities,” he said. “They’re very competitive. It’s a big deal to these communities. That’s how a lot of capital projects get done.”
Projects must address quality-of-life issues in low- or moderate-income areas, and community input is needed to complete the process, he said.
The largest local awards, $450,000, went to Geneva and Opp. Geneva officials will correct a neighborhood drainage issue with their funds, while Opp leaders will apply the money to sewer improvements along Dr. Martin Luther King Drive between Cannon Drive and Hardin Street.
Three other Wiregrass communities — Abbeville, Brundidge and Kinston — received $350,000. Abbeville will rehabilitate up to 27 homes in the Stegall Heights area. Brundidge will improve water services and demolish 13 structures. Kinston will bring up to 20 occupied houses up to code.
“As a former mayor, I know how valuable these grants are to communities and I also realize the time and effort that local leaders, planners and residents invest in obtaining funding,” Kenneth Boswell, executive director of the Department of Economic and Community Affairs and former longtime Enterprise mayor, stated in a release. “ADECA is pleased to have a role in this process that will benefit communities all across Alabama.”
Dale County was awarded $308,700 to provide public water to 42 households along County Road and 21 on Penny Point Road.
Other communities receiving grants are:
» Gordon — $349,787 to upgrade water and sewer services at various locations.
» Goshen — $325,000 to upgrade water lines and improve water quality.
» Level Plains — $250,000 for street and drainage improvements on Faith Street and Phyllis Avenue.
» Clayhatchee — $127,288 to resurface a portion of Providence Land and improve drainage.