The Vinton County Commissioners discussed completing a Neighborhood Revitalization Grant Project in the Village of Hamden and applying for $150,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding during their weekly meeting this past Monday morning, July 10.
During the discussion, Development Director Terri Fetherolf explained the Hamden projects would mainly be funded by a $500,000 Neighborhood Revitalization grant, which is being sought. These projects include street paving, building a shelter house at the village park, building repairs at the Hamden Volunteer Fire Department, and testing at the sewer plant.
Fetherolf stated the total of the Hamden-based projects is $547,000, but the county can use part of the $150,000 allocated for countywide CDBG projects for eligible projects. She added, the funding is now bi-annual instead of on a yearly basis.
Fetherolf also extended credit to Hamden Mayor Mike Wooduff and the village council for gathering public information from village residents.
Questionnaires were sent to every home in the village to see what kind of projects the public would like to see completed. The projects have to be visible and be of need to low-to-moderate-income (LMI) citizens. To qualify for CBDG projects, the target area (in this case the entire village) has to be 50 percent LMI, and Hamden came in at 60 percent. Fetherolf stated the sewage-testing portion of the funding is a necessary step so the village council will know what the problem is and leverage other monies.
Commissioner Tim Eberts asked Fetherolf if demolition projects were part of the plan, and she said they were not. She said she is looking for grants for demolition and stated this is a problem that needs to be addressed in the county.
"There is always an ongoing list," said Fetherolf.
She noted the county is doing its best to raze properties and hopes new funding will be approved.
In other news from the meeting, Commissioners Tim Eberts and Mark Fout welcomed new commissioner James Satory aboard. He was appointed to fill the unexpired term of former Commissioner Mike Bledsoe, who recently resigned due to medical and personal reasons.
The Vinton County Board of Commissioners will meet again Monday, July 17 at 10 a.m.