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Block grants help county

Small rural areas need all the help they can get to keep up with infrastructure and a good standard of living.

Sometimes they are faced with requirements by the federal government that come without funding.

The question arises, what are these small governmental entities to do?

Often times the answer is a U.S. Department of Housing and Development program called Community Development Block Grants.

Typically the state of Ohio gets approximately $41 million each year in the federal funds. Of that Lawrence County gets close to $200,000 of that. That can go toward cleaning up blighted areas or creating projects that will aid those with low incomes.

Sometimes the county has to provide some kind of a match in order to get the funding, so the state will understand how important it is to get the funding.

That is, according to Ralph Kline, assistant executive director of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization.

However, applying for the grants and administering them takes an extensive staff that a county like Lawrence doesn’t have the money for.

That is where the county is fortunate to be able to team up with the non-profit CAO that has the manpower to go for that funding. The county contracts with the CAO to do the work for it.

We appreciate the partnership between the two and understand how much it has brought to the county.