CDBG invests $2 million in Dale County

Among those attending the ceremony recognizing the presentation of more $2 million in Southeast Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission grant funds to Dale County municipalities Feb. 11, from left, are SEARP&DC Community and Economic Development Director Emily Van Scyoc, and Executive Director Scott Farmer, Dale County Commission Chairman Steve McKinnon, Ozark City Councilman Les Perault, Ozark City Councilwoman Leah Harlow, State Sen. Donnie Chesteen, Ozark Mayor Mark Blankenship and Ozark City Councilman Winston Jackson. 

Eight infrastructure and community facility projects in Dale County recently received funds totaling more than $2 million.

Those Community Development Block Grant funded projects were highlighted at a meeting of Southeast Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission staff and board members, Dale County legislators and local elected officials at the government building in Ozark Friday, Feb. 11.

“Teamwork and great partnerships” are what SEARP&DC Executive Director Scott Farmer credited for the receipt of the federal Housing and Urban Development funding that comes to the state for distribution through the Alabama Department of Community and Economic Affairs.

“A lot of these projects are really competitive,” Farmer said. “A lot of team work is involved.”

Farmer is executive director of the SEARP&DC which was created in 1969 by the Alabama State Legislature. The commission is governed by a board of 35 individuals from Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Geneva, Henry and Houston Counties.

“The staff of SEARP&DC is constantly striving to make Southeast Alabama a better place to live,” Farmer said, adding that the $2 million of investment in Dale County and its municipalities is a reflection of a great partnership between the local, state and federal elected officials and SEARP&DC.

Farmer said that the county received a CDBG grant of $308,700 to extend the public water system to 42 households near Newton who had previously been on water wells. The local matching funds requirement is $34,200.

The city of Daleville received a $292,500 CDBG grant for water system improvements along four city streets. The city’s matching funds requirement is $32,500.

The city of Level Plains received a $250,000 CDBG grant to improve drainage along and resurface two streets. The city’s match requirement is $25,000.

The town of Clayhatchee received a $127,288 CDBG grant to resurface a street and improve drainage. The town’s local match is $3,000.

The town of Ariton received a $250,000 CDBG grant for street improvements along five streets and a $30,000 long range planning grant. The town’s match for the grants is $14,681 and $1,500, respectively.

The city of Ozark got a $250,000 CDBG grant for street improvements along nine streets to benefit 300 residents. The city’s match requirement is $37,696.

Midland City received a $350,000 CDBG grant to rehabilitate up to 17 houses. The city’s financial match is $35,000.

“We couldn’t do all this without the partnerships that we have regionally and locally with our elected officials and our legislative delegation in Montgomery,” Farmer said. “In the Wiregrass we really have to pull together to compete. Folks like State Sen. Donnie Chesteen, State Sen. Jimmy Holley, State Reps. Wes Allen and Steve Clouse, we’re really proud to have them representing us up in Montgomery.”

“We’re all working with the same goal and that is to make our region of of the state the best it can be,” said Chesteen. “We appreciate the open line of communications that we have with the local elected officials. That’s what makes us stronger here in the Wiregrass.”

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