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Minden, Springhill land grants

by David Specht

Monies to be used for sewers, roads

David Specht
& Maria Gonzalez
Minden Press-Herald

Last week, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced he was directing more than $14 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to 23 projects across Louisiana, and the cities of Minden and Springhill will reap part of the rewards.

The Louisiana Community Development Block Grant (LCDBG) Program provides local governments with resources to meet the needs of citizens in rural areas and municipalities throughout the state.

“The Louisiana Community Development Block Grant Program allows us to address some of the basic necessities of our people by providing funds for sewer rehabilitation projects, water and street improvements, economic development projects and other priorities,” said Edwards.

“This year, the program has provided more than $14 million in funding for repairs and upgrades statewide. [It] provides critical support for projects that are necessary to sustaining and improving our communities.”

In Minden, approximately $823,000 in CDBG funds will be used for sewers in the Robertson Drive area, according to Mayor Tommy Davis.

“[There will be] some new sewer line, and doing some rehab on a bunch more,” he said.

In Springhill, nearly $300,000 in CDBG grant money will be used for street rehab.

“It’s been quite awhile ago now,” said Springhill Mayor Carroll Breaux. “But, we applied for this particular grant back when we started the first phase of our street rehabs. So I’m really glad to see it passed.”

Breaux said the original project design dealt mainly with the southwest part of Springhill, meaning those streets are the ones set to be repaired.

Springhill is not new to this CDBG Program. The City has used these grants to fund other projects in the past, Breaux said.

“Pinehill is one of our qualifying areas,” he said. “We redid all the water mains there during the second phase of the Water Project, with the help of these grants.”

The LCDBG Program is a federally-funded (HUD) program that is administered through the Office of Community Development. It includes assistance for public facilities through grants that are used to provide and sustain suitable living environments by helping communities with funds for potable water, sewer, streets, and community center projects. The program includes LaSTEP grants which assist communities with funds for solving water and sewer problems through the use of self-help techniques.

“They [the grants] are not very easy to come by, and mostly just depends on what the need is,” Breaux said. “It’s a really competitive thing.”

Davis said the awarding of the grant is just one step in the process, before bids can go out.

“We have to send someone to Baton Rouge to a grant meeting,” he said. “Then we start the process. Nothing in government works fast or easy.”

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