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River Valley Region receives more than $4 million in CDBG funding

AMERICUS — Nine communities in the River Valley region received Community Development Block Grant funding from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which administers the program on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); 79 Georgia communities received Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding this year.
“Strong, vibrant communities help attract companies to the state,” said Governor Nathan Deal. “The projects funded by this program will enhance the quality of life for Georgians while supporting job growth and economic development. By leveraging this funding with private investment and local funds, small and rural communities are able to maximize the opportunities afforded by the CDBG program and strengthen the foundation for a prosperous business climate.”
The River Valley Regional Commission assisted the following cities in the Times-Recorder’s coverage are with their successful CDBG applications:
• City of Ellaville, $372,865 for water system improvements
• City of Montezuma, $500,000 for water system improvements
“The grant will allow us to replace antique water lines; some which have been in use for 50 years. We will also be installing smart meters in all of the houses,” said Joyce Hardy, City of Montezuma administrator. “It will improve the water quality and save money for the customer as we can see if there are any leaks.”
“These projects enable the cities and counties to meet many critical infrastructure needs, which left unfunded would not be done,” said RVRC Executive Director Patti Cullen. “The implementation of the projects will go a long way in improving the quality of life for many of the region’s low and moderate income residents.”
DCA Commissioner Camila Knowles presented the grant awards in a ceremony hosted by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs in Jekyll Island on Sept. 11.
Sixty-six Georgia communities received almost $31.9 million in CDBG funds for infrastructure improvements, neighborhood revitalization, and centers that will serve Georgia’s neediest citizens. In addition, $5.5 million in CDBG Employment Incentive Program (EIP) and Redevelopment Fund (RDF) funding was awarded to 13 Georgia communities to invest in economic development and redevelopment projects that are creating 640 jobs and more than $199 million in private investment.
Georgia’s CDBG program annually supports projects in Georgia’s small and rural communities that create jobs and assist low- and moderate-income citizens. Awards ranging from $282,435 to $800,000 will be used for specific projects such as water, sewer, drainage or street improvements, revitalization of targeted neighborhoods, and construction of health facilities, as well as senior citizen and youth centers.
“The history of the impact that the annual Community Development Block Grant awards have made on infrastructure, revitalization, and job creation and retention throughout Georgia is remarkable,” said Commissioner Knowles. “The project application review process is a highly competitive one, and we appreciate the diligence that went into each community’s application. The DCA staff looks forward to working with these cities and counties as they use these resources to make a difference in the lives of their local citizens.”
A complete list of the 2015 CDBG awards with project descriptions may be viewed at: http://www.dca.ga.gov/communities/CDBG/documents/2015_Awards/2015%20Award_Description_List.pdf.