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Ivey announces $19.4M in grants, region to benefit

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced Monday that more than 60 Alabama cities and counties would be seeing improvements to water and sewer systems, roads and more courtesy of nearly $19.4 million in Community Development Block Grants (CBDG).

Among those slated to benefit from the funds are Selma, Demopolis and a host of other Black Belt cities.

“Community Development Block Grants help raise the living standards for thousands of Alabamians who may have struggled with dangerous roads, sewage backed up in their homes or find it difficult to wash clothes because of inadequate water pressure,” Ivey said in a press release Monday. “I am pleased to award these grants and I must commend those local elected officials who recognized those struggles and responded to address needs in their communities.”

In Selma, two projects received CBDG funds – $450,000 was allocated to improve drainage along L.L. Anderson Avenue, Arsenal Place, Alabama Avenue and Mechanic Street and along Highland Avenue; $40,000 was allocated for a planning grant to help the city develop a strategy to deal with dilapidated structures, housing and economic development.

Over in Demopolis, $450,000 was allocated to resurface portions of nine streets throughout the city, including South Glover Street, McGee Street, Hilltop Circle, East Capitol Street, East Lyon Street, North Chestnut Avenue, North Cherry Avenue, North Ash Street and North Front Avenue.

Boligee received $350,000 to improve sewer lines and manhole covers to ensure no infiltration from rain or other sources, as did Linden to resurface and improve drainage on eight city streets, awhile Uniontown received $250,000 to demolish and clear several dilapidated buildings in the city and Livingston received $450,000 to replace sewer lines in the north-central part of the city.

Sumter County received $250,000 to renovate the Sumter County E911 Call Center to streamline emergency operations and Greene County received $350,000 to improve 4.5 miles of roads.

CBDG funds are awarded on a competitive basis in several categories – including small city, large city, county, community enhancement, Black Belt and planning – with some cities receiving planning grants in addition to competitive grants.

In most instances, governments that receive grant awards are required to allocate local funds as a match to the grant funds, which will be administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“Many local governments, particularly this year with the COVID-19 pandemic, often struggle for funds to provide basic services for residents,” said ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell in the release. “ADECA is pleased to join Gov. Ivey in awarding these funds from the CBDG program, which enables governments to accomplish worthwhile projects to make their communities better places to live.”

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