GRAVETTE -- The Arkansas Economic Development Commission announced on Sept. 30 that it has awarded $6.42 million in community development block grants to 26 Arkansas cities and counties, including a $300,000 grant to the city of Gravette for water line rehabilitation.
Money from the Gravette grant will be used to fund the replacement of water lines in two locations, according to Richard Sutherland, water and sewer department supervisor. The current two-inch water lines will be replaced with eight-inch lines between Birmingham Street and Atlanta Street S.E. from Second Avenue to Eighth Avenue. Four-inch lines will be replaced with eight-inch lines along Highway 59 from Charlotte Street to Fort Smith Street. The water lines are now under the highway, Sutherland said, and they will be moved to the west just outside the highway right-of-way.
Engineering work is underway by Burns and McDonnell in Springdale. Work is expected to begin in January 2022, Sutherland said.
According to a news release from the commission, the grants were awarded under the General Assistance set-aside, which is part of Arkansas' grant allocation that provides opportunities for communities to apply for a variety of non-housing public facility and public infrastructure projects. These funds originate from the U.S. Department of Public Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) State Program for Small Cities.
The commission also awarded an additional $4.5 to 24 cities and counties from a supplemental program to assist in efforts related to the coronavirus. Many of these grants were awarded to senior centers for Meals on Wheels equipment and building improvements.
To be eligible for CDBG funds through both of these programs communities must have a population of less than 50,000 and at least 51 percent of the persons benefiting from the project must be of low to moderate income, or the project must meet another CBDG national objective, prevention of slum or blight, or meet an urgent need.