GALLIPOLIS — Gallia County Commissioners discussed area projects seeking funds with the use of the community development block grant that officials apply for yearly to upgrade area infrastructure.
“The service area for the project has to be considered low income,” said County Administrator Karen Sprague. “That’s the No. 1 criteria for CDBG money.”
Clay, Morgan and Ohio townships all applied for money, as did Gallipolis.
“The city is low-income by census data,” Sprague said.
According the administrator, the city seeks to use funding for four new stoplights to be strung along the intersections of Second Avenue to replace aging equipment. The townships sought to have paving projects done on Bear Run Road, Frederick Road and Peters Branch Road. Of the projects to be brought forward, Clay Township’s Bear Run Road rated the highest and the Gallipolis light project rated second. A cost estimate is written up and a grant application crafted to ask for the money.
Clay Township had an income survey done last year. According to Sprague, it’s 67.7 percent low-income, according to census data. City Manager Gene Green said that Gallipolis would provide a funding match with the grant to be able to enact the lighting replacement project.
“Now that we’ve picked (projects), I have to write the application to the state. That’s due by June 17,” Sprague said. “The state award date for the grant agreement is Sept. 1. Once I get the grant agreement, I’ll start the environmental review. For the street light, it won’t be anything because it’s equipment. The paving project will probably be categorically excluded.”
As soon as the administration gets its environmental release from the state, construction can begin. Both projects are estimated to cost less than $50,000 so the county can take legally take quotes from contractors. The project was originally open for bidders, however, none stepped forward.
The CDGB project grants program is one of the longest, continuously run programs with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It was started in 1974.
According to the program’s website, “The CDBG program works to ensure decent affordable housing, to provide services to the most vulnerable in our communities, and to create jobs through the expansion and retention of businesses. CDBG is an important tool for helping local governments tackle serious challenges facing their communities.”
Sprague has told the Tribune in the past that CDBG funding was sometimes the only source of funding townships had access to in the past for infrastructure repair and creation.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.