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State grant could help local Boy's and Girl's Club

An exception provided in state law allows for Thomson and McDuffie County to apply for a Community Development Block Grant every year, instead of every two years. Officials plan on using that exception to the fullest.

Because the eastern portion of Thomson has formally been designated a redevelopment zone, officials can apply yearly for CDBG funding to help in those efforts.

The County Commission agreed Thursday to apply for a $500,000 grant that would add on to the Boy's and Girl's Club facility in an effort to alleviate overcrowding and expand programs.

"They need, I think, some classroom space, primarily, and maybe some sort of kitchen space out there," said County Manager Don Norton.

In addition to overcrowding, Tim Daniels, the Thomson Boy's and Girl's Club director, said one problem in need of being addressed quickly is adding space for teenagers.

"Most all the Boy's and Girl's Clubs in the nation have what they call a Teen Center where the teenagers basically have the area to themselves," he said. "With our club expanding where it's grown in numbers, that would help us out a whole lot if we could get that grant where we can have that Teen Center."

Commissioners voted unanimously to authorize Gilbert and Associates consulting firm to coordinate the grant application at a cost of $1,150. Mr. Norton said a preliminary design for the expansion would also be included in the application.

The plan, he said, would consist of getting as much building out of the grant funds as possible. Last year, officials learned of CDBG awards in late August.

Web posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007

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