Grant would target residences damaged by Hurricane Matthew

Published 10:50 am Monday, February 12, 2018

Washington’s City Council, during its meeting Monday, is expected to schedule a public hearing concerning the city applying for grant funds for a neighborhood revitalization program.

That program would place emphasis on housing units damaged by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. The city would seek $750,000 from the N.C. Commerce Department’s Division of Community Assistance. The division has $10 million in Community Development Block Grant funds to provide eligible small cities, with each neighborhood revitalization grant awarded set at $750,000. The grant program is designed to assist low- to moderate-income needs, concentrating on housing assistance with acquisition when necessary, relocation assistance and housing rehabilitation.

The hearing will introduce the program and determine housing needs, according to a memorandum from City Manager Bobby Roberson to the mayor and council members. “The City of Washington, after Hurricane Matthew, received more than 40 applications (for assistance) from individuals who suffered from flooding. The city has unmet needs for those individuals and this grant is providing assistance for our local citizens,” Roberson wrote in the memorandum.

The council also will consider authorizing the city manager to sign an application seeking grant funding that would pay 60 percent of the cost to update the Washington Historic Walking Tour booklet. The booklet is handed out to those taking the self-guided walking tour in the city’s historic district.

The project’s cost is estimated at $7,500. A $4,500 grant from the State Historic Preservation Office, a $1,700 contribution from the city, a $1,100 contribution from the Washington Tourism Development Authority and a $200 contribution from the Washington Area Historic Foundation would pay for the updated brochure. The SHPO money would come from the Historic Preservation Fund, a federal matching program that supports state and local historic preservation programs and projects.

In February 2014, the council authorized a HFP grant application for funds to update the booklet, but it was not submitted because the inventory of historic structures being conducted at that time would not be completed by the deadline to submit the application, and the necessary information for a new booklet would not be available, according to a city document.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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