City Council applies for rehab grants

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, April 15, 2004

By By Arthur McLean Editor
The Atmore City Council unanimously approved filing for a community development block grant Monday.
The city will apply for $500,000 to perform road resurfacing, drainage improvements, housing rehabilitation and some demolition of dangerous, vacant houses.
The city will match the grant with more than $107,000 of city funds to bring the total project worth to more than $600,000.
The work will be concentrated in the area bounded by Montgomery Street to the north, Liberty Street to the south, Harris Street and Maxwell Street to the east and west.
The grants are designed to help areas of low to moderate income residents. The city has used to other, similar grants to improve homes, streets and drainage in other parts of town.
Bob Watts, the city's representative in applying for the grant said that nearly 93 percent of the residents in the area met the guidelines of being in low to moderate income brackets.
"That should help us a lot with the application process and getting approval," Watts told the council during a public hearing on the grant.
During the public hearing on the grant application, several residents asked about needed work in other areas of town. Mayor Howard Shell said the grant money must be used in a concentrated area under the direction of state requirements.
Councilman John Watts said the council was trying to spread projects around the city with each grant, noting that the city's two previous grant projects were used in District two, while this grant was going to be used in District three of the city.
Watts expects the money will be used to rehabilitate 18 homes in the area and demolish six. Montgomery Street, Maxwell Street, Curtis Street and Harris Street will be repaved and, in some areas, widened.
Drainage improvements will be made throughout the grant area.
In other business, the city accepted more than $43,000 from the state for paving projects. The funds are part of a revenue sharing program for capital improvement projects. Shell said similar funds received last year were used for paving projects in the city and this year's money will be used for paving as well.
The council also approved donating $100 for a Senior Day picnic in recognition of Older Americans Month, and approved a proclamation in support of the National Day of Prayer to be held May 6.

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