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Sanders, AEDC Announce 17 Community Grants Totaling Nearly $8.5 Million

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On Thursday, Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders along with Secretary Hugh McDonald, AEDC Director Clint O’Neal, and Director of AEDC’s Grants Division Jean Noble, announced the Arkansas Economic Development Commission has awarded $8,478,624 in Community Development Block Grants to 17 Arkansas cities and counties.

These grants were awarded under the General Assistance set-aside, part of Arkansas’s $17.8 million FY 2023 formula grant allocation, which is designed to provide communities the opportunity to apply for a variety of non-housing public facility and public infrastructure projects. These funds originate from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban

“When the federal government works right, in coordination with state and local experts, the results can be fantastic. The Community Development Block Grant program is a great example of state and federal collaboration,” said Governor Sanders. “This year’s seventeen recipients come from all across our state, from Garland City in the southwest to Peach Orchard in the northeast. Each one of these grants advances our administration’s priorities of improving our education system, investing in workforce readiness, and ensuring that every Arkansan has access to safe and clean drinking water.”

AEDC is highlighting these awards in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Community Development Block Grant Program. Enacted by Congress in 1974 under the Housing and Community Development Act, CDBG provides necessary funding to communities across the country to address infrastructure, economic development, housing, disaster recovery, and other community needs.

“Across Arkansas, there are thriving communities that are laying the foundation for future economic success and improving the lives of their citizens,” said Clint O’Neal, Executive Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “The Community Development Block Grants help local communities to strengthen that foundation to provide excellent quality of life and a great business environment for companies.”

Since the CDBG program’s inception in Arkansas in 1983, more than $900 million has been awarded for 2,390 projects that have benefited more than 5.16 million Arkansans. State CDBG funds are utilized for a variety of public facility and public infrastructure projects, including senior centers; childcare centers; public health facilities; youth centers; residential water and wastewater; street, curb, gutter, sidewalk, or storm sewer; and flood control and drainage projects; as well as towards economic development grants incentivizing the location or expansion of jobs in the state. Funds are awarded on an annual basis with counties and municipalities also allocating resources to meet urgent needs and benefit low- and moderate-income persons.

“The Community Development Block Grant remains one of the most important grant resources for the State of Arkansas and local governments and their non-profit and other partners to utilize in designing flexible solutions to meet community development needs,” said Jean Noble, Director of AEDC’s Grants Division. “We are proud to recognize the awardees for their hard work and dedication to addressing their highest priority community needs and administering these funds effectively back in local cities and counties. We look forward to partnering on these successful projects!”

The 17 General Assistance projects include the following:

· Columbia County, $500,000, after-school youth center

· Dierks, Howard County, $499,743, water system improvements

· Dumas, Desha County, $499,935, sewer system improvement

· East Camden, Ouachita County, $499,420, sewer system improvements

· Garland City, Miller County, $500,000, pond levee improvements

· Hope, Hempstead County, $500,000, wastewater system improvements

· Jennette, Crittenden County, $500,000, water system improvements

· Kensett, White County, $499,750, wastewater treatment plant improvements

· Kingsland, Cleveland County, $500,000, pump station improvements and pipe repairs

· Lockesburg, Sevier County, $500,000, water tank improvements

· Logan County, $485,556, senior center renovations

· Lonoke, Lonoke County, $498,874, sewer line rehabilitation

· Lonoke County, $500,000, developmentally disabled vocational training facility

· Pangburn, White County, $500,000, wastewater collection system rehabilitation

· Peach Orchard, Clay County, $498,920, water line rehabilitation

· Sparkman, Dallas County, $496,426, wastewater rehabilitation

· Van Buren County, $500,000, road improvements

To be eligible for CDBG funds, communities must have a population of less than 50,000 and at least 51 percent of the persons benefitting from the project must be of low- to moderate-income, or the project must meet another CDBG national objective, prevention of slum or blight, or meet an urgent need. All Arkansas cities and counties are eligible for the grant program except for 14 entitlement cities that receive CDBG funds directly from HUD.

For more information on the Arkansas Small Cities CDBG or CDBG-CV program, visit https://www.arkansasedc.com/grants

Heather Pedersen

Heather Pedersen (125)

“Love is never wasted, for its value does not rest upon reciprocity.” -C.S. Lewis

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