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Arkansas Communities Celebrating ‘Community Development Week’

Communities across Arkansas and the nation will recognize the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program during National Community Development Week April 22-26 while celebrating the 44th year of the program.

For more than four decades, CDBG has provided local communities with an important source of funds to address affordable housing, and community and economic development needs. The CDBG program provides grants to more than 1,200 local governments across the nation to create neighborhood approaches that improve the physical, economic and social conditions in communities. Every CDBG $1 leverages more than $4 in other funding, bringing additional vital resources to communities.

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) has administered the state’s CDBG program since 1983. Each year, AEDC holds public meetings and hearings across the state to obtain citizen input on community needs. Based on that input, AEDC prepares a plan to prioritize and distribute the state’s allocated federal CDBG funds. Last year in Arkansas, 39 communities received grants, totaling more than $15 million. The types of projects ranged from infrastructure and building improvements to creating community programs to serve its citizens.

For example, CDBG funds were used by the City of Eureka Springs in Carroll County to repair damage caused by storm water drainage in a channel parallel to the city’s Main Street in the historic business district. The project reinforced the channel while removing and replacing undersized culverts, which had caused widespread flooding and erosion. The project unearthed several buried items, including the frame of an old car.

The State of Arkansas will receive $17.8 million to administer in FY19, which runs July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020. For more information on the Arkansas CDBG program, visit www.ArkansasEDC.com.

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