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South Hill, Alberta score grant funds

SoVaNow.com / June 26, 2013
The towns of South Hill and Alberta are the big winners in the most recent round of Community Development Block Grants awarded by the federal government, part of a $6.8 million cash infusion for 11 projects across the state.

South Hill is set to receive $1.2 million over two years, in $600,000 increments, to rehabilitate eight houses, substantially repair four homes, and repair 1,200 linear feet of sewer along West Main Street. Three vacant structures will be demolished as part of an effort to remove blight in the area.

Ashleigh H. Zincone, Senior Planner with the Southside Regional Planning District and the person who made the grant application on behalf of South Hill, said the balance of the project would include replacing five manholes and minor road repair work, but “surprisingly” no water line repairs. She said the water lines appeared to be in good shape.

The work will be done over the next three years, and Zincone hopes to have a contract signed by the state of Virginia by mid-September so the town can move forward with the plans and specifications.

Last year, South Hill completed a similar project using CDBG funds, the $1.2 million Meadow Street project.

Alberta was awarded $969,706 for its regional utility consolidation project, uniting Alberta’s water and sewer system with one operated by the town of Lawrenceville.

To accomplish that goal, workers will correct infiltration and inflow problems in Alberta’s existing sewer lines, install a gravity sewer, upgrade a pump station and connect Alberta’s influent sewer to Brunswick County’s conveyance system.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is one of the longest-running programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. CDBG funds are allocated to more than 1,100 local and state governments on a formula basis. Since 1982, the program has been administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and Virginia receives more than $16 million annually for this “small cities” grant program.

The grants were announced this week by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

The Virginia CDBG program provides funding to eligible units of local government for planning and implementing projects that address critical community development needs, including housing, infrastructure, and economic development. The goal of the CDBG Program is to improve the economic and physical environment in Virginia’s communities through activities, which primarily benefit low- and moderate-income persons, prevent or eliminate slums and blighting conditions or meet urgent needs, which threaten the welfare of citizens.

CDBG grants are awarded through a competitive process.

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