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Gates County gains $750,000

GATESVILLE – Gates County has been awarded a $750,000 grant from the CDBG-NR (Neighborhood Revitalization) program.

Mike Barnett, who wrote the grant on behalf of the county, said the money would be used to replace four dilapidated housing units in the county.

“Those properties have been identified,” Barnett noted at the March 6 meeting of the Gates County Board of Commissioners. “However, we still have to go through title identification and liens to make sure everything is okay.”

A grant agreement package is now in the county’s hands. To proceed, Barnett said there are three items the county’s leaders must approve. The first is to accept CDBG-NR’s offer; the second is for the county to budget this money as a capital grants project; and the third is to authorize the county manager to select and put under contract a professional program management and housing services firm to execute the program in accordance with all applicable federal, state and local standards.

“We are very pleased to receive these funds,” stated Board Chair Linda Hofler. “We have a large number of homes in our county that are not in the best shape. Everything we can do to help those individuals we certainly want to do that.”

Commissioner Henry Jordan asked if the process was underway to select the program management firm.

“If these three items mentioned today by Mr. Barnett are approved, then our next step is to advertise the RFP (Request for Proposals),” answered County Manager Natalie Rountree.

Rountree added that the program management firm selected handles the process at that point, to include soliciting contractor bids for the actual work.

“They work with the contractor, sign-off on the work, as well as inspections,” Rountree said. “They submit all the required documents to CDBG.”

The Commissioners approved all three resolution to accept the CDBG-NR funds; budget that money upon receipt (which may not arrive until July); and authorize the county manager to begin the process of hiring a managerial firm for the project.

“We are looking forward to starting this project,” Hofler concluded.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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