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City received grant for sewer plant; fire departments to split grant for air packs

By:  Paula Walter

Assistant Editor

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, along with economic and community development commissioner, Randy Boyd, recently approved more than $27 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), that will assist communities across Tennessee with infrastructure and health and safety projects.  Lieutenant Governor Rom Ramsey, Tennessee State Representative, Timothy Hill, and Economic and Community Development Commissioner, Randy Boyd, were present at the Johnson County Community Center this past Friday to announce several grant awards for both Mountain City and Johnson County.
Mountain City was awarded a $525,000 grant for sewer system rehabilitation.  “We will use all that money towards the improvement of the Mountain City plant,” said Mountain City Mayor, Lawrence Keeble. “This will just make a small dent as it is so expensive. We also have another grant to use at the same time for the same purpose from the Economic Development Administration in the amount of $1.2 million.” This is a matching grant, with the city putting in approximately 15 percent.
According to Karla Prudhomme, Johnson County Economic and Community Development and Tourism Director, this is the fourth year the county applied for a $50,000 CDBG Façade Grant for downtown Mountain City.  “The $50,000 grant provides a 75/25 match for downtown business to help to improve the appearance of buildings, including signage, painting and broken window replacements,” Prudhomme said of the recent award.
“The total grant for the fire departments is $315,000,” said Johnson County Mayor Larry Potter. “The county will pay approximately $27,000 as it is a matching grant.  The money is going to be spent for air packs and they will be split among the fire departments.”  According to Potter, the county applied a year ago for this grant but was turned down.  “We reapplied and received it this time,” he said.  “Anything we can do for the fire departments; they are the first ones to help people.” Air packs are worn by fire fighters and other rescue workers to provide breathable air.
According to a press release from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Govenor Haslam and Commissioner Boyd, along with Delta Regional Authority (DRA) Federal Co-Chairman, Chris Masingill, and public and private partners, also announced nearly $100 million in new investments in strengthening infrastructure, supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as encouraging tourism in West Tennessee.

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