CDBG money aids Cofield residents

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 19, 2005

COFIELD – Improvements are coming to Hertford and Downs streets here.

Thanks to a Community Development Block Grant secured by the town of Cofield, 13 homes on the residential streets near the Cofield Post Office will be rehabbed or replaced.

&uot;This town is always in need,&uot; Mayor Hermea Pugh said. &uot;Anytime you can do something to alleviate the conditions some of the people live with, we have to put forth that effort.

&uot;I wish we could get funds to help everyone in town, but that is not a reality,&uot; he said.

Under Pugh’s leadership, the Cofield Town Council submitted a CDBG proposal for the 2002 cycle. Mayor Pro-Tempore Anthony Archer and council members Herbert Smith, Lee Watford, Ronald Sutton and Nettie Brickers approved the grant proposal unanimously.

But, the town thought the proposal wouldn’t be funded because of the length of time since it’s submission.

&uot;I really thought we were at a point that we wouldn’t be funded,&uot; Pugh stressed. &uot;But, thanks to (Town Clerk) Barbara Archer’s hard work, things came out to the positive for us.&uot;

North Carolina Secretary of Commerce James T. Fain III informed the town late last year that they had preliminarily received the $700,000 grant for Concentrated Needs funds.

&uot;We are pleased to support community revitalization efforts in the Hertford Street area,&uot; Fain wrote to Pugh. &uot;Congratulations on this award. We look forward to working with you and other officials.&uot;

The preliminary award is due to certain conditions that have to be met by the town before funds are released. Those terms, which must be met by all grant recipients, include an environmental conditions report, administrative contracts and signing the pertinent documents.

Archer said the process was underway to meet those requirements and that some of the steps were complete, but the environmental portion would take 90 days.

The clerk indicated $595,000 of the grant would go towards rehabilitation or replacement of housing. The other $105,000 of local option monies will be used to take care of infiltration problems in the town’s sewer system.

&uot;That has been a thorn in our side for quite a while,&uot; Pugh said.

The 13 houses will be looked at to determine the best way to provide better housing for the occupant.

If a house is deemed substandard, it could be demolished and replaced with a mobile home.

&uot;Obviously, the best-case scenario would be to rehabilitate the house if that is feasible,&uot; Pugh said.

The town had a Community Development Block Grant in 1999 that was used in the area of Railroad Street, according to Archer.

‘That one was great,&uot; she said. &uot;The streets were paved, the water lines upgraded and the housing was rehabilitated. It was very good for the town’s residents.&uot;

The project will begin during the early summer months.