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Council pursuing grants

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The LaFayette City Council approved two resolutions on Monday night allowing them to further pursue grant opportunities for the city. The first was for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Central Business District Improvements grant. Another was the ARC Downtown Revitalization Master Plan grant. City Clerk Louis Davidson said LaFayette’s submissions would be in for the preapplication phase.

The city’s grant writer Louise Campbell had previously spoken to the council about these grants at a work session last week.

The ARC Central Business District Improvement grant is one that has to be coupled with another grant, and in the city’s case it will be the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The city will ask for an additional $200,000 through the Central Business District Improvement program to use for water system upgrades. Campbell also said the grant does not require a match from the city.

The Downtown Revitalization Master Plan grant can be for as much as $30,000 and would assist in developing a downtown renovation plan for the city. It requires a 20 percent match, leaving the city’s cost at $6,000. Campbell also recommended that the council form a downtown revitalization committee to help oversee the planning if the grant is approved.

In speaking about other grants last week, Campbell gave the council an update on the city’s Community Development Block Grant submission. The application is for $150,000 and its intended use it to improve the water line infrastructure in the city. Campbell said the application had been filed with the state and the results should come in October. If both the CDBG and ARC grants were approved, the city would have as much as $350,000 for water line improvements.

Campbell also made reference to the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP) grant that the city applied for. Chambers County was awarded ATRIP funds rather that each city in the third and final phase of the program, with the instructions to divide the funds across the county. After much discussion the county and City of LaFayette reached an agreement in which the county will fund $185,000 for a project in the city. The one requested through ATRIP involves the resurfacing of Alabama Avenue. Because the city is in the process of applying for the CDBG funds for water utility improvements under the roadway, the county is allowing LaFayette the option to use the money for another project pending the outcome of CDBG funding awarded.

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