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City of Thomson, McDuffie County receive federal grants

Officials with the City of Thomson, as well as McDuffie County have received some good news.

The good news comes in the way of money. Big money - to the tune of $802,042.

"This is the kind of news we like hearing and sharing with the residents of Thomson and McDuffie County," said McDuffie County Commission Chairman Charlie Newton during a telephone interview on Tuesday. "We welcome this amount of money, because it's going to help us expand our boys and girls club, as well as help us in making some big improvements with some of the sub-standard housing that currently exists."

Thomson City Administrator Don Powers expressed pleasure at hearing the news, too.

"We're very delighted that our grant applications were approved," Mr. Powers said. "This is just another example of what working together can accomplish."

Mr. Newton echoed that sentiment.

"I am very pleased that we're going to receive these grants, because they are very much needed," Mr. Newton said.

Mr. Powers was referring to city-county officials working on the grants together. Those involved from the city included Mr. Powers and Bob Flanders, former city administrator, as well as Mayor Robert E. Knox Jr. Representatives from the county who worked on the grant applications were McDuffie County Manager Don Norton, Commission Chairman Charlie Newton and Commissioner Frederick Favors.

All three grants were applied for at the same time by city and county officials.

"We have a significant amount of sub-standard housing in the city that needs addressing from wiring to general renovations," Mr. Powers said. "This money will help us get things started without a prolonged effort."

The grant money that the city received was through the Community Home Investment Program (CHIP), Mr. Powers said. The City of Thomson received a total of $171,699 in revitalization funds for housing improvements.

McDuffie County, meanwhile, will receive $342,864 for expansion and renovations of the existing boys and girls club. The center now services about 100 children, according to Mr. Newton.

"We can now expand the building and accommodate more kids," Mr. Newton said. "This is what I've wanted to see since I first took office back in 2001. I want to see as many kids use that facility as possible, because it's a good, safe learning environment for them."

An additional $287,479 will be used by county officials for sub-standard housing.

"All of this money is going to help the people of Thomson and McDuffie County and that's what it's all about," Mr. Newton added.

Web posted on Thursday, August 16, 2007

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