Town applying for block grant

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

CHAPEL HILL - The Board of Mayor and Aldermen here has authorized preparation and submittal of an application for federal funding to improve a section of sewer along Eveningside Drive.

Sewer repair is important because broken pipes allow groundwater to seep into the collection system and that increases the work for a treatment system, according to state and federal environmental officials.

"There's one line that really needs it," Chapel Hill Town Administrator Mike Hatten explained last week.

Community Development Block Grant funding is from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is frequently the source of money for such work. Grant applications are accepted annually.

"We fell short by 17 points on our sewer rehab application last year," Hatten said.

Grant applications are ranked by a numerical grading system so national priorities are met. Lewisburg has received assistance from a CDBG to repair pipes. Cornersville is preparing a CDBG application to fund repairs to qualified homes on Fairview Avenue.

"The Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted overwhelmingly to apply again," Hatten said of the town's decision to continue toward repairs that were estimated at a cost of $350,000 to $400,000 last year when the previous application was submitted.

Public works project prices have fluctuated broadly this year as construction and development companies want to keep their crews working and together through the recession.

Water lines, fire protection and rural health departments are also eligible for CDBG funding that is administered on the state level through the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development with the assistance of the South Central Tennessee Development District, a not-for-profit administrative agency that serves more than a dozen counties that's headquartered in Fayetteville.

Hatten anticipates submitting the application in February. Announcements regarding grant awards are usually made in the fall.