By Terry Dean
Cherokee County Herald Editor
Following a public hearing, the Cherokee County Commission has officially submitted an application for CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funds to purchase two vans for use by the CED (Cherokee-Etowah-DeKalb) Mental Health Center.
The commission met recently with Dianne Glenn, an ADECA (Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs) representative, about the purchase of one van to be used by Cherokee County and another van to be used by Etowah County. The estimated total cost is around $65,000 although specific funding is still yet to be determined.
Glenn indicated that both Cherokee and Etowah County should be hearing about the grant soon.
“This public hearing tonight is a requirement of the application process and I am going to present you some information about the county’s proposal,” said Glenn.
“The purpose of the public hearing is to give the public information and to receive information from the public so at any point if anybody has a comment or question please stop me,” said Glenn.
According to Glenn, the grant application must be in Montgomery by Aug. 31 to be considered in the upcoming CDBG grant cycle.
“This year, ADECA, for the state has received $21,398,440 to allocate through the CDBG programs,” Glenn explained. “The state divides that allocation into several different funds. And they do that so they can have different spending priorities.”
“One of their spending priorities is Quality of Life in the communities of Alabama,” said Glenn. “And they serve those needs through community enhancement funds. That is the fund for which we will be applying.”
In this particular fund, Glenn said, $2,930,400 has been committed.
“One of the requirements of the CDBG program is that the applicants meet one of their objectives,” said Glenn. “There are three objectives and one of them is to serve principally low to moderate income persons. That was the primary reason for the program being established.”
“Generally we have to prove that the beneficiaries of the proposed project meet a 51 percent threshold, however, with this particular project we are using what is called limited clientele to qualify,” said Glenn.
“The program also strives to do other things such as create suitable living environment and approved availability or accessibility to community services,” said Glenn.
“This money is reserved to provide funding for eligible CDBG activities which communities consider important to enhance the quality of life for area or community residents,” said Glenn. “Eligible applicants are non entitlement local governments who meet applicable thresholds.”
According to Glenn, the community enhancement fund grant is a $250,000 maximum and a $50,000 minimum.
“Not all the programs have a minimum but this one does probably because of the nature of activities submitted,” said Glenn.
Glenn stated that all applications are reviewed and rated on a point system with the higher number of points getting top priority.
“The Enhancement fund does require a local match,” said Glenn. “What that means is they expect you to contribute financially to the project. The county commission is not exempt. There is a 10 percent match. Most federal programs have an 80-20 or 75-25 but the CDBG match requirement is extremely beneficial to our community.”
CED Mental Health along with the Etowah County Commission, Glenn said, have adopted a resolution committing to a portion of this match.
The commission opened its Monday, July 24 meeting by leading in thee Pledge of Allegiance in honor of Army Private First Class Billy Wayne Bright who served in the United States Army Reserves in the 299th Engineer Battalion Company B. He was killed through hostile action in South Vietnam Nov. 11, 1967.
Pvt. Bright earned the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal.
Pvt. Bright is buried in Unity Missionary Baptist Cemetery in Cherokee County.
“We want to remember him and all of those others who have given their lives from this county in service to their country,” said Cherokee County Commission Chairman/Probate Judge Kirk Day.
The commission met in executive session for discussion with the county attorney over the legal ramifications and legal options (Section 7a of Act 2005-40)
The commission heard a statement from Cherokee County Attorney Bill Hawkins that this is a valid reason under Alabama Law (Section 7a of Act 2005-40) to go into executive session.
The commission approved a motion to go into executive session which was followed with a roll call vote by Commissioner Randy Jones, Commissioner Kimball Parker, Commissioner Marcie Foster and Commissioner Carlton “Bubba” Teague.
The commission took no action following the session.
The commission approved re-appointing Troy Patterson to a six year term on the Cherokee County Department of Human Resources Board and approved tabling another appointment to the board.
“If you are interested in serving it is a very important board,” commented Chairman Day. “That is quite a commitment but the work they do is very important to the community. For anyone who is interested, please submit a letter or resume to the county commission.”
The commission also approved Tammy Jones as the District One representative to the Cherokee County Industrial Development Authority as discussed in a previous meeting.
The commission approved a change in polling place location for McCord’s Crossroads voter precinct number 18-1. The current polling place location is the old McCord’s Volunteer Fire Department station. The new polling place locations is the new McCord’s Volunteer Fire Department station Number Two located at 1150 County Road 157, Centre, Ala. This change is being done because of HAVA requirements and for climate control. The change will be effective as of the Aug. 15, 2017 U.S. Senate Special Election.
In other business, the commission:
-Declared an attached list of items as surplus property to be disposed of or sold at public auction.
-Approved an agreement with the Cherokee County Board of Education for School Resource Officers for the period of August 2017 through May 2018.
-Approved advertising requests for bids for the Highway 9 causeway clearing project.
-Adopted a resolution endorsing the Alabama Bicentennial Commission by forming a Community Celebration Committee to observe and commemorate the bicentennial of the State of Alabama and authorized the chairman to sign.
-Approved the re-execution of the Memorandum of Lease with Branch Towers, LLC.
-Approved posting for a new revenue appraisal Clerk Grade Four.
-Approved grant agrement between Centre, Piedmont, Cherokee County Regional Airport Authority and the and U.S. Department of Transportation federal Aviation Administration and authorized the chairman to sign.
-Approved the agenda.
-Approved the consent agenda.
The next regular meeting of the Cherokee County Commission is Monday, Aug. 14, beginning at 10 a.m. The work session begins at 9 a.m.