Heath Springs Council prioritizes town projects

A new development that provides affordable housing is among the items on Heath Springs’ wish list as officials prepare to apply for a popular pool of federal money.

Grazier Rhea of the Catawba Regional Council of Governments spoke at this month’s Heath Springs Town Council meeting about Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, which the town has received in the past.

Each year, council members draft a prioritized list of town projects they’d like to see funded through the CDBG program, which is administered locally by the Council of Governments (COG).

The No. 1 item on this year’s list is a development that will offer housing in the town limits for low- to moderate-income residents. This will help residents fulfill their dream of becoming home owners, Mayor Ann Taylor said.

“We don’t have one and we do have a need,” Taylor said regarding such a development. The list also includes increased public safety, a community center for youth and continued upgrades to the town’s infrastructure, such as sewer improvements and downtown streetscape enhancements.

Ten items are listed.

“It’s a want list,” Taylor said. “We have things we still feel like need attention.”

A CDBG project has to benefit low- and moderate-income people, eliminate slums and blight and address urgent community needs.

The goals for the program are community sustainability, heath and safety for neighborhoods and economic opportunities.

Heath Springs’ current water line replacement project is being paid for largely through CDBG funding.

Taylor said she’s hopeful the town will continue to receive funding through the program.

“I never feel confident until I get the letter saying we’re approved,” she said. “It’s competitive.”

Applications are due either April 18 or Sept. 19, depending on the particular CDBG grant an entity is applying for.

The four grant programs are Community Infrastructure, Community Enrichment, Village Renaissance, “Ready to Go” Public Facilities and Business Development.

By Jesef Williams, Staff Reporter with The Lancaster News