Gov. Asa Hutchinson and other state officials presented grants totaling more than $4.4 million to 65 Arkansas communities and counties at a ceremony held Oct. 18 at the Arkansas State Capitol.
The grants fall into one of four programs administered by Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC): Community Development Block Grants, Rural Services Block Grants, Rural Community Grants, and County Fair Building Grants.
Sixteen cities and counties received $3,060,617 under the General Assistance set-aside of the Arkansas Community and Economic Development Program. The funds originate from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) State Program for Small Cities, and are awarded for a variety of public facility and infrastructure projects, such as wastewater treatment plant rehabilitation to new senior citizen centers. To be eligible for CDBG funds, communities must have a population of less than 50,000, and at least 51 percent of the persons benefitting from the project must be of low- to moderate-income.
A total of $996,958.66 was awarded to 15 communities and counties under the Rural Services Block Grant program to fund new construction or renovation of community centers, fire stations, or multi-purpose buildings, and the purchase of fire trucks (pumper, tanker, brush or certain service trucks). Grants are up to $75,000, with a required match of 10 percent that may be comprised of in-kind labor, in-kind materials or cash. Only incorporated towns and rural communities with a population of less than 3,000 with at least 51 percent in the low- to moderate-income category are eligible.
A total of $319,763.38 was awarded to 27 communities and counties under the Rural Community Grant Program to fund projects such as community parks, walking trails, community center, fire stations, fire trucks and other fire protection-related equipment. Applicants from incorporated towns of less than 3,000 in population and unincorporated rural areas are eligible for up to $15,000 in matching funds under the program.
A total of $24,650 was awarded to seven counties under the County Fair Building Grant Program. Fair associations located in counties with a population of 55,000 or less are eligible to apply for up to $4,000 per year through the County Fair Building Grant Program. Communities must provide 50 percent of the cost of the project as match to qualify for the grant.
For more information about grants administered by AEDC, visit www.ArkansasEDC.com or call 1-800-ARKANSAS.
Sixteen communities and counties received General Assistance through the Arkansas Community and Economic Development Program (CDBG) including, Hatfield. Hatfield received a $100,000.
Fourteen communities received funds through the Rural Services Block Grant Program (CDBG).
Twenty-eight communities and fire departments received funds through the Rural Community Grant Program including Cove and Gillham. Cove received a Rural Community Grant in the amount of $7,278, while Gillham received $8,706.
Seven counties received grants through the County Fair Building Grant Program.