Rich Square making progress with CDBG funds

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 14, 2005

RICH SQUARE – Six projects complete, three in progress, two awaiting bids and more to come.

That’s the status of qualified properties involved thus far in a concentrated needs Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) awarded to the Town of Rich Square, according to Stanley King, Director of the Roanoke Construction Group and grant administrator for the town.

Although unable to attend last week’s town council meeting, King submitted a report updating the town on the progress that had been made to date in relation to the project.

The grant, which was awarded in a total amount of $700,000 on March 12, 2003 from the North Carolina Department of Commerce Division of Community Assistance (DCA) under Community Revitalization, was designed to provide funds to local governments to strengthen neighborhoods and rehabilitate homes of low to moderate income citizens. Funds are based on a ratio of the number of persons in the home to a median household income of $45,200 or below.

During the meeting, council members approved minutes from a public hearing held March 3 where they subsequently approved an amendment to the original CDBG agreement, allowing the town to reallocate funds in its existing budget.

According to town engineer David Dickerson, the amendment will transfer funds within the CDBG budget to address drainage, sewer and water line improvements on Smallwood, Jacobs and Maggette streets.

&uot;Initially the town proposed general improvements, but during the process discovered more acute problems with sewer line and pump failure,&uot; he said, &uot;So we’re trying to address the needs and fix the most acute issues.&uot;

The location of the line break falls at a critical juncture of sewer flow from Rich Square sewer collections to the wastewater treatment facility.

DCA allows the town to use the funds for four items, including street and sewer repairs, housing clearance and housing rehab.

According to King, Rich Square, which initially committed approximately $186,000 in funds toward the project, has already spent close to $250,000.

&uot;The fact that the town has committed more than it said it would previously speaks to the level of commitment it has to making sure these problems are addressed,&uot; King said.

The changes may delay the completion date of the project.

&uot;These types of things take time,&uot; Dickerson said. &uot;That’s the nature of improvements such as this, but they’re very positive projects for the town.&uot;

The next progress meeting concerning the CDBG project is scheduled for 1 p.m. on April 26 at Rich Square Town Hall.