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Local governments set grant lists

Dearing, Thomson and McDuffie County have all narrowed the wish list for this year's round of Community Development Block Grants from the state of Georgia.

Two of the three governments recently decided which projects were highest priority when filling out the applications for the grants that can bring in as much as $500,000 for local endeavors.

McDuffie County chose to apply for grant money to help fund expensive sewer system expansion. Thomson is still deciding which neighborhoods to revamp with the money as part of the redevelopment effort. And Dearing will apply for a grant to fund repairs on the old Dearing Elementary gym.

Officials, in most cases, are optimistic about their chances at receiving the state money that is set aside each year for local governments to improve infrastructure in low to moderate income areas.

"We've got a lot of housing work we need to do," Thomson City Administrator Bob Flanders said about the city's application. "We need to clean up some old houses, and help people fix up their existing houses."

According to the Department of Community Affairs website, the grants are awarded according to need and possible impact.

"Eligible applicants selected for funding will be those having the greatest need as evidenced by poverty and per capita income and whose applications most adequately address the needs of low and moderate income persons and have the greatest impact," reads a statement on the DCA website.

That fits McDuffie County's application, according to County Manager Don Norton. If awarded, the project would include installation of sewerage in the Hayes Line district, including Twin Oaks and Frances Drive. Commissioners discussed the fact that several homes in that area were still using outhouses.

"I think it's a very needed project," Mr. Norton said. "I think we can compete very well on it, so I would think we would have as much chance as any other."

Dearing Mayor Ralph Menees feels that the town's CDBG application is worthy of funding because of the community's use of the gym as well as being the only place in the county where Recreation Department basketball games can be held on adjustable goals.

However, he feels that the chances are more than likely slim that the project will actually get funded.

"It's a want for the community," Mayor Menees said. "I don't seriously see that it's a drastic need...but we're going to pursue it though."

If Dearing doesn't receive the CDBG funding to overhaul the gym, McDuffie County Commissioners have already promised money to patch it up. There will also be some money available for repairs from the proceeds of the Dearing Mayfest scheduled for May 7.

The deadline for all of the GDBG applications to be in to DCA is May 2.



Web posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2005











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