From the quiet hallways of the most beautiful state Capitol in our great nation, this is Senator Keith Ingram.
Although it may seem as if the coronavirus pandemic is taking up all of our attention, state government continues to conduct the business of helping the citizens of Arkansas.
For example, more than $7 million in Community Development Block Grants were recently awarded to 23 Arkansas towns and counties.
The grants are for infrastructure projects in communities with a population of less than 50,000 people.
To qualify for the grants, At least 51 percent of the residents in the community must be low to moderate income.
The Arkansas Economic Development Commission awards the grants every year, after holding a set of hearings to get input on community needs.
One of the largest grants awarded this year, of $823,000, went to Hughes, in St. Francis County, for rehabilitation of its wastewater treatment system.
In Mississippi County, the towns of Dell and Birdsong both received grants of $200,000. Birdsong’s grant is for its wastewater system and Birdsong’s grant is for drainage projects.
Congratulations are in order for the folks in Hughes, Dell and Birdsong. They will reap the benefits of this year’s grants for years to come.
I strongly recommend that all cities, towns and counties dedicate staff time to researching and applying for Community Development Block Grants, and the other sources of state and federal funding available from the AEDC.
Applying for grants can be tedious, and it may take a couple of years to bear fruit. But once you have become comfortable with the process, the potential benefits are tremendous.
Funding is available for water lines, drainage projects and wastewater treatment facilities.
Cities and towns have used grant money for senior citizens centers, libraries, health units and emergency shelters. Grants may be spent on street repairs.
For more information on the grant program, you can get in touch with the Grants Management Division at the AEDC in Little Rock at (501) 682-7682.
Or you can go to their website at ArkansasEDC and click on the Community Resources tab.
It’s worth the effort.
From the Capitol, it is always my greatest honor and most sincere privilege to serve you as your state Senator. This is Senator Keith Ingram.
Listen to today's address below: