Block grant funds sought for 2 projects

Published 10:13 am Friday, June 10, 2016

Creating a Community Center with amenities in Burlington and improving downtown Ironton are the goals for applying for $674,000 in Community Development Block Grants.

A public hearing to solicit comments was conducted before Thursday’s commission meeting by Cindy Anderson of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization. No one attended.

Of the $374,000 for the Burlington project, $218,400 would go toward the construction of the center, which will be a replica of the first county courthouse. Recreating the structure was originally the idea of commissioner Bill Pratt as part of the county’s bicentennial celebration.

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Part of that is to build raised beds for a community garden with park benches and swings for $53,200 in funding. Along with that is $30,000 allocated for parking improvements around the center. Also part of the $374,000 is $50,000 for demolition of slum and blighted structures in the Burlington area; $2,400 for street signage for walking trail to Wal-Mart shopping plaza and $20,000 for administration.

The project whose funding is sought from CDBG is a downtown revitalization grant for Ironton totaling $300,000. Of that $185,600 would be for façade improvements for downtown business district; $94,400 for sidewalk improvements and $20,000 for general administration.

Right now there are 29 businesses or building owners from Center to Adams streets who have said they are interested in using the money, Anderson said.

These grants are highly competitive; the county will face between 150 to 160 counties or cities also vying for the money.

Last time just under 10 neighborhood revitalization grants were distributed and five for the downtown project.

The application must be submitted by next week; the results will not be known until August.