ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp announced Aug. 29 that 59 Georgia communities will receive a total of $41 million in federal assistance to help grow their local economies. The funding was distributed to Georgia’s Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG) by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“These communities understand the importance of how these funds can enhance and improve the quality of life for residents across the state,” Kemp said in a press release. “When communities are revitalized, their citizens are as well. The CDBG program continues to elevate Georgia’s prominence as a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

Of the grant awards for 2019, $38 million will go towards infrastructure projects, such as neighborhood revitalization, construction of community facilities, and water, sewer, drainage or street improvements. Additionally, $2.95 million will be disbursed through the Employment Incentive Program (EIP) and the Redevelopment Fund, which together are expected to create approximately 192 new jobs and generate $70.4 million in additional private investment.

In Colquitt County, $750,000 was allotted for street and drainage improvements in the Greenfield Church Road target area.  

The City of Doerun proposed to use its $547,857 grant for sewer system improvements along Robinson Avenue, North Broad Street and East Union Drive.

“We’ve had some issues in the past with our sewer system in that area. We’ve got a lot of infiltration in it, the groundwater has kind of overtaken our lift station that it flows into,” said Kevin Branch, city manager of Doerun. “We’re trying to prevent that. If you get too much groundwater in your sewer system, you end up treating the graywater and the groundwater through the system and you end up using a lot of money and chemicals to treat it. It’s a big cost cut to get this grant so we can get new lines in to prevent this. It’ll be a big help.”

The City of Norman Park proposed the use of $600,000 for similar improvements in the Cherry Street area in the north of town and the Chapman Street area in the south of town.

Altogether, these three projects will benefit approximately 428 persons, according to the 2019 Community Development Block Grant Award Descriptions.

Over the past decade, the CDBG program has provided assistance and resources for critical water and sewer improvements that serve more than 177,00 residents in rural areas and invested in health care facilities that have assisted more than 35,000 Georgians, according to the state press release. The program has also helped to create more than 6,100 new jobs through the Employee Incentive Program.

“I look forward to recognizing these outstanding communities at our annual Fall Conference,” said DCA Commissioner Christopher Nunn. “The CDBG recipients embody careful planning, hard work and dedication to improving their communities.”

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