Shelby County receives Urban County Designation, grant funds
Published 9:50 am Wednesday, September 27, 2023
By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer
COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Commission has released applications for its parks and recreation grants and announced that the Community Development Block Grant Urban County Designation has been finalized which will bring nearly $1 million in funding for lower-income areas in the county.
During a County Commission meeting on Monday, Sept. 25, County Manager Chad Scroggins shared with the Commission that the county has officially received the CDBG Urban County Designation.
“We’re excited, this is here, this is official,” Scroggins said. “This is really a unifying thing because a lot of our communities will be able to benefit from this. This really targets low- and moderate-income areas.”
The Commission first approved participation in the program during a meeting in July. Through this program, the county can receive funding, due to its Urban County Designation, to distribute towards projects, with an emphasis on helping smaller communities in the county.
Through the block grant program, the county will receive approximately $1 million in funding to utilize towards helping areas that have need.
The county previously attempted to get the designation years ago but was unable due to a municipality not participating, however, all eligible municipalities signed on for the program this year.
“All municipalities are on board,” Scroggins said. “We’re excited about it. It’s a huge step, it’s massive. We’re excited about it and we appreciate everybody participating and they’re going to see good things happen.”
Scroggins shared the next step in the process with the commission.
“This is a process that will be very quick,” he said. “We will get (together) with all of the municipal partners who decided to participate and they will have a voice at the table. (We’re) trying to decide how we prioritize the roughly $1 million we get per year.”
In other news, the Shelby County Commission approved budget adjustments and discussed the upcoming system for parks and recreation grants.
“One of the things that we’re about to do is the Parks and Rec Grants,” Scroggins said. “That application process has been released.”
The purpose of the grant is to provide a means of assisting various entities within the county in developing or improving parks and recreational opportunities and in supporting the vision and goals of the Shelby County Comprehensive Plan.
There are major changes from last year’s Parks and Recreation Grants as the funds available have increased from $350,000 to $500,000 and the local match has decreased from 50 percent to 25 percent.
“What we found is, (with) some of our smaller municipalities, that a 50 percent match was challenging even if it was only $200,000 or $10,000,” Scroggins said. “We’ve got opportunities to make some real impact in some of the communities.”
The deadline for applications is noon on Tuesday, Oct. 31 and more information can be found online at Shelbyal.com/Documentcenter/view/4585/fy24-shelby-county-park-and-rec-grant-program?bidId=.
In other news, the Shelby County Commission approved the following items on the agenda:
- Mass Hangar D grant application
- Mass Hangar T grant application
- An Alcohol Beverage License for Salvatore’s Pizza and Pasta
- A landfill property purchase
- Voting location changes
- A Voting district and location resolution