Grant may extend water, sewer to Athens Rd.

By MARLAN JONES,

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is a flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs.

The most recent project completed in Mendenhall using CDBG funds was done on Athens Road. The city was granted approximately $400,000 which was used to extend the city’s water and sewer services to Athens Road. An estimated 20 citizens were added to city services once the project was completed.

During the February Mayor and Board of Aldermen meeting the board approved City Clerk Tiffany Wallace to begin the application for a CDBG grant. Mayor Todd Booth said that if approved the grant would most likely be used to upgrade the city’s sewer system. The application process has been started, and Wallace explained that the city needs handwritten letters from citizens detailing any problems they are having with their sewer. She explained that it is one of the requirements of the grant and that the letters be hand written. The letters are to describe problems such as odor, sewage backups, or any problems the citizen may be experiencing. The letters must be mailed to Mendenhall City Hall or dropped off by March 31.

Since 1974, the CDBG program has been one of the largest and most successful programs. The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to 1209 general units of local government and States.

The annual CDBG appropriation is allocated between States and local jurisdictions called "non-entitlement" and "entitlement" communities respectively. Entitlement communities are comprised of central cities of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs); metropolitan cities with populations of at least 50,000; and qualified urban counties with a population of 200,000 or more (excluding the populations of entitlement cities). States distribute CDBG funds to non-entitlement localities not qualified as entitlement communities.

Over a three year period not less than 70 percent of CDBG funds must be used for activities that benefit low- and moderate-income persons. In addition, each activity must meet one of the following national objectives for the program: benefit low- and moderate-income persons, prevention or elimination of slums or blight, or address community development needs having a particular urgency because existing conditions pose a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community for which other funding is not available.

CDBG funds can be used to fund projects focused on improving public infrastructure, housing, administrative and planning, public services, economic development, and property acquisition.

The program is an important tool used to help local governments tackle serious challenges facing their communities. The CDBG program has made a difference in the lives of millions of people and their communities across the nation.

The most recent project completed in Mendenhall using CDBG funds was done on Athens Road. The city was granted approximately $400,000 which was used to extend the city’s water and sewer services to Athens Road. An estimated 20 citizens were added to city services once the project was completed. During the February Mayor and Board of Aldermen Meeting the board approved City Clerk Tiffany Wallace to begin the application for a CDBG grant. Mayor Todd Booth said that if approved the grant would most likely be used to upgrade the city’s sewer system. The application process has been started, and Wallace explained that the city needs handwritten letters from citizens detailing any problems they are having with their sewer. She explained that it is one of the requirements of the grant and that the letters have to be hand written. The letters are to describe problems such as odor, sewage backups, or any problems the citizen may be experiencing. The letters must be mailed to Mendenhall City Hall or dropped off by March 31.