CDBG Grants help small cities grow |

CDBG Grants help small cities grow

Sarah Moffitt, The Park Record

Coalville needs to protect its water, Echo wants a sewage system and residents who live along Woodenshoe Lane need culinary water. All are appealing to the Mountainland Association of Governments for a portion of the $400,000 Community Development Block Grant funds (CDBG) to improve their small or underserved communities.

According to Mountainland Association of Governments’ website, the CDBG Grants for small cities is designed to "assist in developing viable communities by providing decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate incomes."

The federal money that is administered by the state has previously helped Kamas, Henefer and Coalville with their culinary and sewage water systems. Monies have also helped the Mountainland Association of Governments purchase trucks for the Meals on Wheels program.

Summit County Office Manager Annette Singleton said the grants help eliminate slums and blight in small counties and cities and are a huge help to Summit County. The county is sponsoring two applications for Woodenshoe and the Echo Sewer District. Woodenshoe homeowners need to build a 20,000 gallon water tank so the 19 residents have access to culinary water and Echo needs a sewage system to eliminate the septic tank problem that has left raw sewage above ground.

Henefer Mayor Randy Ovard said he pulled his town’s application this year because the grant money was significantly less than usual and he thought it should go to communities that needed help with water projects.

"Last year, the grant was over $1.5 million so a lot of communities got a lot of money," Ovard said. "We were in the final seven applicants this year, but a few needed water and we did not want to take money away from that. We wanted to build a civic center but would have to go door-to-door for a survey and even if we got the grant money, we probably would not have been able to contribute enough of our own to make it happen. We would rather the money go somewhere like Peoa, who are in trouble if they do not get enough money to redo their water system. We were under the impression that most communities would withdraw their application if it did not involve water due to the limited funds this year, but I do not think everyone followed through."

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Two years ago, Henefer received $250,000 for a new water tank.

Coalville applied for a $50,000 CDBG Grant this year to construct a new fence around their water supply, a project that Mayor Duane Schmidt called "extremely necessary."

"We have a fence around Icy Springs right now, but it is in disrepair," Schmidt said. "We need this grant for the security and protection of our water source. We think we will get the grant amount we requested despite the fact that the overall money they have this year is significantly less. Our project has to do with water and is a reasonable cost."

A committee will rate the final projects and decide which projects will receive funding. The grants are expected to be announced in April.