Grant funds would help pay for various city projects

Published 7:42 pm Thursday, February 15, 2018

Washington’s City Council, during its meeting Monday, scheduled a public hearing on the city seeking grant funds for a neighborhood revitalization program.

The hearing is set for 6 p.m. Feb. 26 in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

The 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.

City Manager Bobby Roberson said the money could be used in several areas of the city — known as scattered sites — not just one location. Roberson said the grant funds would be used for “unmet needs.” The $750,000 would help about 40 people who applied for recovery assistance but did not receive it, according to a city document. That assistance includes elevating houses to avoid floodwaters.

The council also authorized spending $8,100 as its contribution toward a joint Beaufort County-City of Washington effort to obtain a $50,000 OneNC economic-development grant for Project Garden, which designs and builds point-of-purchase display units for Fortune 500 companies. Project Garden would be located at the Beaufort County-Washington Industrial Park.

Beaufort County would provide $8,100 as its contribution toward the project.

“New capital investment is estimated at $1,095,000 which would create 53 new jobs in Washington and Beaufort County, if selected by the granting agency. The performance grant requires the company to meet its capital investment amount and job creation in order to qualify for the grant,” reads a memorandum from Roberson to the mayor and council.

The council authorized city officials 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.








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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