City scores rehab grant

Published 9:10 pm Monday, August 9, 2004

By By Arthur McLean
The city of Atmore was awarded $500,000 in state grant money to improve the neighborhood around Liberty Street.
The money is part of the Community Development Block Grant program, and will be used for housing rehabilitation, demolition of abandoned homes, streets, drainage and sewer repair.
The grant money must go to low to moderate-income areas. The area included in the project will be bordered by Maxwell Street, Harris Street and Liberty Street. Streets inside the project area include Montgomery Street, Cross Street and Curtis Street.
"We're very happy to receive this grant," said Councilman Louie Turner. The project area is in Turner's district. "We've worked for almost three years to get this grant."
The city's efforts included bringing officials from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs in to survey the project site. ADECA is the governing agency for the block grant program.
The project will repair and repave streets in that neighborhood. Improving drainage in the neighborhood will also be a priority for the street portion of the project.
Homes will be rehabilitated and improved while others that are uninhabited and a danger to the community will be demolished.
"The whole purpose of this grant is to make the area more livable and improve its appearance and hopefully generate some more interest in the community," Turner said.
The city will have to provide $107,000 in matching funds for the project and Mayor Howard Shell expects the city will begin letting bids by the end of the year. Engineering studies for the project should begin this summer, he said.
Last year, the city received a similar grant for the area near Carver Street and Martin Luther King.
"We're trying to tile these projects together, so each area we work on, joins another," Shell said. "There are pockets of great need, but we're trying to touch as much as possible."

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