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Grant money replaces Rich Square residence

RICH SQUARE – The Rich Square Town Council received an update during last Thursday’s meeting concerning housing, street and other infrastructure improvements in the town.

The town received a $700,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Community Assistance Program and the grant administrator, Stanly King, provided the update for the council.

According to King, a portion of the grant money was earmarked to assist an income eligible family in the replacement of their home.

“We are on a timetable to bring in the new house,” King said. “The money has been obligated and the home has been paid for, but we need to decide what we are going to do with the extra money by January 23.”

“We are behind where we should be,” King continued. “Smith Construction did not want to tear up the yard and it took a long time to get the asbestos permit.”

King explained how the wet weather has the slowed the process in the demolition of one of the houses involved in the rehabilitation project.

“I know the family has been inconvenienced,” King said. “We will reimburse them for the storage.”

King also answered questions from the commissioners concerning street improvements.

The Division of Community Assistance administers the North Carolina Small Cities CDBG program. Much of the CDBG program is oriented toward community revitalization projects that strengthen neighborhoods, rehabilitate homes and improve water and sewer infrastructure.

The Town Council also heard from several members of the community concerning drainage issues in the town.

“We need a lot of work with drainage issues in Rich Square,” Mayor Peggy Wisper said. “We need to start looking for a grant to help with this problem.”

Former Rich Square Mayor John Pellam, who was in attendance, suggested that prison inmates from local facilities could perform a lot of this type of work for the town.