A representative from the NARCOG addressed the council during a work session on Tuesday, regarding a working with them for a downtown revitalization project with funding from a community development grant.
According to Robbie Cantrell, the town would meet the majority of the qualification guidelines in order to achieve a grant, covering an 8-task revitalization plan. The entire project would take at least one year to complete, while further funding will have to be fixed in order to put the project into action.
The entire project will cost $30,000 with the $24,000 funded by a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The remainder of the amount will be a local match split between the town and NARCOG funding, ($2,000 and $4,000 respectively), which is 8% of the total.
The set deadline for the CDBGs is on June 15 this year. Meanwhile, a public hearing will be necessary before the town can apply for these grants. The meeting was initially organized by NARCOG, while the council has been mulling over the downtown revitalization plan for some time.
According to Councilman David Carroll, the council has to think about the revitalization for a little while as Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood presented the council a sketch at one time; however, the project should be detailed, letting the council know how to put everything into place.
Carroll said it has been a great opportunity; however, there is no sense spending money on a plan without a certain way of funding the actual project. The council has to review the funding options first, while the Culver and Buster Road projects are the top priorities at the moment, he said. The mayor also admitted that he appreciated the idea and plan, but wanted to learn more about the funding options.
During the latest municipal conference, the mayor said, were encouraged to work on the downtown area, only if there was one. Thus, many different businesses have been seeking for homey downtown spaces at the moment, and it is something that the municipality should think about.
Cantrell said the town is amongst the 7 out of 23 local communities to have a downtown area, saying that there are grants, which can apply to the revitalization plan, but the project will determine for which grant the town will qualify.
Meanwhile, in other issues, the council learned about a citizen complaint, complaining about drivers on the Robinson Creek Road close to the town schools. Barbara Parks has lived near a sharp curve on the road for 3 weeks now, witnessing at least 3 near-accidents close to the sharp curve.
Parks admitted she doesn’t have any solution to that problem, asking the council to think about one. The council, on the other hand, said it would try to address the issue through a sign that signifies a dangerous curve ahead. The council doesn’t have the right to limit the speed in that area without employing an initial professional traffic study first.
Moreover, the council reviewed the budget summary with the town clerk explaining that the town is currently $180,000 in the black. Last year, they have seen a drastic increase in revenues from sales taxes and business licenses.