NC Department of Commerce’s CDBG Economic Recovery Program Offers Flexibility in Meeting Communities’ Needs

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Kendra Jensen is a UNC-Chapel Hill graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in Public Administration. She is currently working with the Kerr-Tar Council of Governments through the Carolina Economic Revitalization Corps (CERC)

An earlier post discussed the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Community Assistance’s CDBG Economic Recovery Program. On February 8th, Governor Perdue announced $14 Million in grant awards to 26 local governments. Applicants to the program included communities who submitted applications for the June 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act CDBG funding, but were not funded in the competitive process.

Granville County received $584,559 to fund improvements, an expansion and retrofits to the Granville County Senior Center. Specific improvements will include replacement of the aging HVAC system, insulation improvements and elevator installation. The Senior Center, located in Oxford, provides a number of programs and services benefitting elderly and low to moderate income residents of Granville County. Each funded project was required to be “bid-ready,” indicating that improvements to the Senior Center should begin shortly. Improvements to the Senior Center will also create and retain a number of jobs in Granville County, whose unemployment rate was 9.6% in December 2010.

Local governments eligible for funding were categorized into three project areas: infrastructure, housing or special projects. Granville County’s Senior Center is part of the special projects category, which could include either public facilities projects or foreclosure prevention. Other projects funded in the CDBG Economic Recovery Program grant cycle include housing and water and sewer infrastructure projects. As mentioned previously, while each project must fall into one of three project categories, applicants are given considerable flexibility within project categories to tailor activities to the needs of the community.

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