The federal grant, town clerk Drenda Ammons advised during the board’s planning session Monday, is called a HOPE VI Grant, worth $1 million, that can be used, if housing could be developed in that district.
Knowing that the current plans for the bank building are still very much up in the air, Ammons advised that she plans to apply for the grant, seeking to convert the old bank, which is located on Roseboro Street, into some apartment buildings.
“This might be something that we could do with the building. We could call it the Old Bank Inn ... This may be an idea we may want to consider,” Ammons noted.
However before the town clerk starts to writer her application for the grant, mayor Roland Hall asked attorney Bill Poole if it was even possible to apply for such funding, noting those plans, if the building was not owned by the municipality.
Without batting an eyelash, Poole stated, “No. You don’t own the building.”
He then explained that the town could eventually own the property, but that would be after litigation, a judgment against the owner, Ransom Newkirk, and auction, where the property would be sold to the highest bidder. However, he stressed, for the purpose of the grant, they could not use the bank as part of their plans.
“Wouldn’t it be better if we just told (Newkirk) about our plans and the grant?” Ammons inquired.
No one answered, but Ammons continued on, saying that Newkirk had been officially served papers in regards to revitalizing his building.
Also in attempts to continually find more funding for the town, Ammons provided a list of additional grants, totaling 12, that she has applied for to help Roseboro acquire funding for various projects.In addition to the Hope VI Grant, she has applied for the N.C. Rural Center grant, $325,000 of which the town received toward its $500,000 well project. She also is submitting grants for Urgent Needs Funding for the well, but the town has not been notified of any award at this point.
Ammons indicated she has also be notified by officials with the USDA that the town could apply for an Economic Catalyst Grant to further help fund the well project.
In regards to the downtown district, she told board members she was interested in applying for a grant from the N.C. Steps Program, which is designated for towns with less than 10,000 in population.
Another grant may come from the USDA’s Rural Development, which if awarded, would provide the town with $75,000 to be used for parking in the district.
Ammons also pointed out that she has written a letter of intent to apply for a grant with the Golden LEAF Foundation, also seeking funding for downtown parking.
The town clerk stated that, if approved, “The maximum award is as much as $200,000.”
Ammons also notified the board of a mandatory workshop that she will attend in New Bern in regards to a North Carolina Main Street Solutions Fund which will also help the downtown.
“Communities that do not attend this workshop will not be eligible for consideration for this program,” said the town clerk.
She also has some grant ideas for energy savings.
One grant will be from the Main Street Projects funding and will require a 50/50 match.
Another grant, the Energy Efficiency Block Grant, totaling $200,000, will, if awarded, help the town become more energy efficient. To help further their chances of receiving this grant, Ammons acknowledged that a team from North Carolina State University has come down to do some energy studies.
Lastly, Ammons pointed out that the town has once again applied for a Mosquito Control Grant that, if approved, will help pay for 50 percent of all expenses involved in spraying for the pesky insects.
Following this discussion on grants, commissioner Cary Holland asked that with all of the grants being applied, did Ammons have enough help.
Ammons answered, “Help is nice, as long as I don’t have to baby sit them.”
Katie Holland can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 136, or by e-mail at email@example.com.