2018-08-29 / Front Page

Neighborhood revitalization

City receives $1,000,000 CDBG for first housing project

The City of Blakely was awarded a $1,000,000 Community Development Block Grant by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Friday.

Mayor Anthony Howard noted the grant funds will be used for neighborhood revitalization in the North Avenue neighborhood, reaching West Butler, McLaurin and Dumas street areas.

The revitalization efforts will include sewer, flood and drainage and street improvements. It will also include rehabilitation of substandard and dilapidated housing on private properties.

The mayor noted this is the first CDBG housing project the City of Blakely has ever undertaken. The project will reconstruct five dilapidated homes, rehabilitate one substandard home and demolish and clear the lots where five vacant dilapidated homes now stand.

“When this project is complete it will improve the lives of 114 citizens living in the North Avenue Street neighborhood,” Howard stated, “Currently there are citizens living in unsafe conditions. This project will remove those hazards and provide our citizens with an improved quality of life. These improvements could not be done without this grant.”

The grant is the first part of the City’s plan to revitalize neighborhoods. The City Council voted to implement a Revitalization Area Strategy (RAS) which affords the City the opportunity to apply for CDBG grants annually for three consecutive years.

The Strategy addresses neighborhoods where citizens’ living conditions are substandard by improving both city services provided to those citizens and improvements to the private properties.

“This is a great program that will allow us to improve our infrastructure and give the City the opportunity to help our citizens improve their own properties,” Howard stated.

“We thank Representative Gerald Greene, Senator Dean Burke and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for their assistance in getting this grant!”

“I want to commend DCA for awarding funding to the City of Blakely for a multi activity program,” Senator Burke stated. “I want to also recognize the work of our local elected officials. Without their collaboration with DCA this funding wouldn’t have been awarded. Upgrades such as these drive economic development and I look forward to securing additional funding for projects in the City of Blakely.”

“This money will fund very critical projects and make major improvements,” Rep. Greene stated. “This crucial investment will certainly impact our citizens and stimulate economic growth and community development within these areas, and I look forward to seeing the positive results that come from these improvements.”

Mayor Howard will attend an awards banquet Oct. 10 in LaGrange where the Department of Community Affairs will present the grant.

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