Residents Seeking Water Services Attend CDBG Grant Public Hearing

Residents in a portion of the county seeking water services from the DeKalb Utility District turned out for a public hearing Tuesday night at the courthouse.
The purpose of the hearing was to give these residents an opportunity to express their support for the filing of an application to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for a Community Development Block grant to help fund the extension of water lines to their neighborhood.
The county has applied for and been denied the grant twice within the last two years. But this time in order to improve its chances, the county plans to ask for a little less grant money while the DUD has committed to ante up more. The total project cost would be the same.
In January, the DeKalb County Commission is expected to adopt a resolution making application for the grant which would be $501,000 with a $120,000 local match by the DUD.
Amanda Mainord of Grassroots Planning & Consulting, grant administrator, said the project would serve at least thirty eight households on Tramel Branch, Oakley Road, Carter Lane, Old Givens Hollow, and the Dismal to Alexandria Road. Officials say many of these residents have to live with poor quality water or little or no water.
“Before we do anything else we have to have a public hearing to see what the public interest is. There are several different things we could apply for including sewer systems, water systems, fire trucks, ambulances, etc. But the consensus tonight is to apply for this water line extension project. I will be contacting residents who live on those roads over the next couple of months and the utility district will be doing well testing again to check for bacteria in the water. We will then compile all that information in an application for the grant at the end of February,” said Mainord.
“The goal of the Community Development Block Grant is to serve low income communities. We have to prove that at least 51% of the area is low income. The more people who live in the area makes our costs per person lower. Last year’s survey showed about 40 families in the area or about 113 people. I’ve been told that several other families have moved in since the last survey,” Mainord continued.
The grant application is due by the end of February. “I’ll submit the application to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. The staff there will review the applications and rank them in comparison with other grant applications for water line extension projects. They will go out and visit the area and count the number of houses. After ranking the list, they will submit it to the Governor’s office. Last year about twelve water line extension grants were approved. This year they only approved seven,” Mainord concluded.
It may be next fall before its known if the grant is approved.

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