LAUREL HILL — The third time was the charm for city officials recently awarded a $600,000 grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to use on much-needed road repairs.
“It has been long needed, probably for the past 30 years,” City Clerk Nita Miller said.
City officials received a confirmation letter from the Florida DEO on July 17 stating that the city will receive the Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant.
This was the city’s third attempt in applying for the grant. The funds are earmarked for overlaying and repairing New Ebenezer Road, 2nd Avenue and 4th Street.
The council voted to apply for the grant in January of 2013. City leaders then selected the engineering consulting firm, Preble-Rish, Inc., to handle the grant writing process.
Preble-Rish project manager Anna Hudson, one of several employees to assist in the process, was happy to see the process pay off in the end.
“I was extremely excited that all the hard work and preparation, from both the city and Preble-Rish, Inc. had resulted in (Laurel Hill) receiving … funds for the street improvements,” she stated in an email. “It always feels good to know that you have contributed to something that can benefit others.”
Mayor Robby Adams is thankful for the firm’s assistance.
“We would not have received (the grant) without them,” he said. “It’s great for the citizens to finally see some roads being repaired.”
Adams said the city will soon advertise for a grant administrator responsible for overseeing the road repair process. The administrator will also help the council select a contracting company to undertake the road repair project.
The timetable in which the city will officially receive the funding and begin the road repair work is currently ongoing with the grant process, Adams said.
Adams said he would like to see the city apply for another CDBG grant, once the city is eligible, and other grants in the near future.
“We have plenty of more roads that need paving,” he said.