Windsor plans Granville St. improvements

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 15, 2007

WINDSOR – If a proposed grant is approved, Windsor will have more than $1 million in improvements on Granville Street.

Chris Hilbert of Holland Consulting appeared before the Windsor Board of Commissioners in a public hearing Thursday morning to discuss details of the Community Development Block Grant the town will be seeking.

According to Hilbert, the Division of Community Assistance(DCA) is handling funding and has changed guidelines offering two separate grant programs. The first is an $850,000 basic grant and the second is a $1 million basic plus innovative activities.

“When we looked at it, it seemed the town may be in good condition to apply for the innovative activities grant,” Hilbert said. “Granville Street has housing and commercial needs.”

Hilbert said he had pitched the idea of working together with Martin Community College, Granville Street businesses and the town to affect the innovative portion of grant in a meeting with DCA officials and they had been receptive to the idea.

The basic concept will be to treat houses that need help in the area.

“Some residents are living in homes that are dilapidated in nature,” he said. “There will be some relocation and replacement housing and some rehabilitation.”

Hilbert said he had preliminary discussions with Choanoke Area Development Association Director (CADA) Sallie Surface about getting involved in the project.

“We have no commitment yet, but we have agreed to sit down and see how we can involve CADA in the process,” Hilbert told the board.

Also part of the project will be working on infrastructure needs including the replacement of the sewer line from the top of the hill on Granville Street to Blount Street. Hilbert indicated that work will involve tearing up concrete and probably resurfacing the road because of the damage that will be done to replace the line.

Windsor Mayor Bob Spivey invited Martin Community College President Dr. Ann Britt to the meeting to listen to the proposal and give input.

“I think this would be a tremendous opportunity for the college to bring more opportunities to Bertie County,” Dr. Britt said.

He also stated the town would commit $90,000 in matching funds for the grant. Spivey asked Hilbert if it would behoove the town to contribute more money to make the match 10 percent.

“The more funds committed by the town, the better chance of funding,” Hilbert said.

Mayor Pro Tempore Jimmy Hoggard said he felt it would cost more than $100,000 if the town had to replace the sewer line in question and Hilbert indicated preliminary estimates put the cost near $400,000.

Commissioner Charles W.D. Fulk said he felt the town should up their contribution to $100,000 and the board approved the change. Commissioners, on a motion by Fulk and seconded by Hoggard, adopted a resolution authorizing the mayor to sign all documents related to applying for the grant.