$500,000 grant for fixing drainage
By Kathryn Schiliro
Drainage, or lack thereof, on Madison’s Burney, Mapp and Pearl streets will soon be remedied thanks to a state-issued Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to the tune of $500,000, obtained by the city’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA).
The need for drainage and street improvements on Burney, Mapp and Pearl streets, part of Madison’s historic Canaan neighborhood and the DDA’s Urban Redevelopment Area (URA), was identified by the DDA as a result of Town Hall meetings for neighborhood residents put on by the DDA in August and November of last year.
Drainage and street improvements to the area were “one of the top needs identified at the DDA’s Town Hall meetings in that district,” Monica Callahan, Madison city planning director, said in an interview last week, following notification the city had received the grant. In fact, the issue was such that the DDA initiated the CDBG process with the state’s Department of Community Affairs (DCA), responsible for these grants statewide, immediately following the first meeting in August 2011.
Through the meetings the DDA learned that, when it rains, the areas around Burney, Mapp and Pearl streets – “hazardous, water-collecting areas,” Callahan said –flood to the point that yards are under water, houses are being damaged and cars are forced to drive through five or six inches of water, Callahan said.
Following the documentation of these complaints by residents, the grant was readied and sent to the DCA in April 2012 and the city received notification of the $500,000 award on Friday.
“We’re thrilled, and a half-million dollars is a good thing,” Callahan said.
The grant will allow the city to install stormwater improvements where there have been marginal, if any, stormwater measures as well as drainage, curb and gutter repairs, Callahan said.
The DDA will work with Monroe-based Allen-Smith Consulting – the same company that helped the DDA obtain the $300,000 grant for Town Park – on grant administration, Callahan said.
The DDA is now practically through all of the eight items on its first-year URA work plan, Callahan said.
More than $36 million has been allocated by way of CDBGs through the DCA to support projects in 74 Georgia communities, according to a press release from the state.
The CDBG program is administered by the DCA which uses federal assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) “to support local initiatives that focus on improving living conditions and economic opportunities,” according to the press release.
Printed in the September 6, 2012 edition.