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City awarded grants

Mayor Bayne Stone and Councilman Dywane Johnson attended the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) awards ceremony in Augusta last week. They brought home $1.5 million for projects in the City. The City of Hazlehurst will use $1,000,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for sewer improvements in the Robin Lane area. The project will benefit 256 people, of whom 246 (96.1%) are low-to-moderate. The project costs $1,444,724, with $444,724 in matching funds.
The City also received a OneGeorgia Equity grant for $500,000. The city will use the grant to upgrade water service to Thompson Hardwoods. The total project cost is $967,000 with the City and the Joint Development Authority of Jeff Davis County, Hazlehurst & Denton making up the difference. The upgraded water service will enable Thopson Hardwoods to begin a $70 million modernization and expansion project.The project will create 25 new jobs.
The OneGeorgia Equity Fund is an economic development tool, providing financial assistance via grants and loans to projects in rural communities. This helps build the necessary infrastructure for economic development.
Georgia DCA Commissioner Christopher Nunn announced 37 communities are set to receive more than $33.8 million in federal grants to strengthen their communities. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) allocated these annual funds to Georgia’s CDBG program which is administered by the Georgia DCA. This year’s grant awards will fund $27.7 million in infrastructure projects, $4.1 million in housing projects, and $2 million in building projects across 37 communities.
“With these grants, we make important investments in infrastructure, community facilities, and neighborhood revitalization,” Kimberly Carter, DCA Director of Community Finance, said.
Through a competitive process, the annual grant program supports community projects, facilitates the creation of jobs, and assists low-to-moderate-income citizens. DCA received more than $43 million in requests this fiscal year. Applications are ranked, with grants awarded based on an applicant’s ranking.
Over the last 10 years, the CDBG program provided resources for critical water and sewer improvements, serving more than 143,000 residents in rural areas. The program has also supported constructing or enhancing community facilities that serve more than 741,525 Georgians.
“Community Development Block Grants are impactful tools that benefit all parts of the state, especially rural Georgia,” Nunn said. “These awards represent local-driven city and county solutions that will improve the quality of life for many Georgians.”
The Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Commission is a non-profit planning, and development agency that serves a 17-county region in Central and East Georgia including the counties of Appling, Bleckley, Candler, Dodge, Emanuel, Evans, Jeff Davis, Johnson, Laurens, Montgomery, Tattnall, Telfair, Toombs, Treutlen, Wayne, Wheeler, and Wilcox.

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