A public hearing, the first of two, was part of Roseboro’s town meeting this week, giving town residents the opportunity to learn more about — and question — the town’s pursuit of a new Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
In a special meeting at the end of last month, town commissioners met with Floyd Adams of the Adams Company, who will write the town’s grant application, to determine the town’s greatest needs, ones that could possibly be funded by the CDBG grant. After much discussion, commissioners agreed that repairs and improvements to the town’s water system, sewer system, and waste water treatment plant should be top priority.
Adams returned to Roseboro for Tuesday night’s meeting where he gave those in attendance a brief overview of the grant and what the town is looking at doing should it receive CDBG money.
“The grant has changed management,” said Adams, explaining that previously CDBG monies came from the state’s Department of Commerce but now will be distributed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR).
He also pointed out that CDBG dollars can no longer be used for housing and other various needs; the new CDBG grants are meant only for water, sewer, and infrastructure needs.
The town can seek as much as $3 million over a three-year period, he continued, but to qualify, projects are required to benefit 51 percent of the town’s low to moderate income families.
“Roseboro is a bit unique,” he said, noting that the projects town commissioners are looking at that will benefit 51 percent of the town’s low to moderate income families are such that they will also be a benefit to the whole town.
Adams stressed that between the present time and the next required public hearing that final decisions needed to be made in order to give him time to complete the town’s grant application by the quickly approaching April 1 deadline.
Commissioner Cary Holland asked how Adams’ work on the grant was progressing thus far. Adams replied that much information had been gathered, quotes for the desired repairs and improvements were being received, and he and Bob Mitchell, also with the Adams Company, had been in contact with Travis Anderson, contracted ORC (operator and responsible charge) for Roseboro’s water system, and Neil Carroll, contracted ORC for the town’s waste water treatment plant. During the special meeting in February, at the town board’s request, both men had offered their own input and advice concerning the town’s needs.
Adams mentioned that he had run into an obstacle in including sewer work in the area near Roseboro’s Pine and Bullard streets in the grant, explaining that the area is outside the town’s limits and therefore outside the town’s reach. If the town is not able to enforce any rules or regulations to areas where grant-funded projects are done, the town could possibly have to pay money back to the grant source, he warned.
Commissioners expressed their understanding, reiterating their desire that the grant application focus primarily on resolving issues at the town’s waste water treatment plant.
A town resident at the meeting, who stated that he worked with Roseboro’s ORCs in Clinton, stressed to commissioners the need for “getting up on your compliance so you don’t get fined,” particularly at the waste water treatment plant, and recommended more frequent water testing.
Commissioners assured the resident that his concerns were also their concerns. “There’s so many needs that way,” agreed Butler, referring to the waste water treatment plant.
Adams pointed out that another, second deadline was expected to follow the April deadline and that the town could submit a second grant application at that time, likely in May. He agreed with focusing on water water treatment plant needs in the first application and getting it submited by April 1, then “do homework” on other town needs and potentially submit a second application on them in May.
The second required public hearing concerning the CDBG grant is scheduled for Wednesday, March 19 at 5:15 p.m. at town hall.
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.