The first USDA grant, according to Community Development Director Chris Stone, would be to renovate the Kendron-Waldrup Building (formerly Christ Deliverance Tabernacle, on the north side of the square) and help locate a new business there.
“We are actually partnering with the new business, will be getting some startup money from the grant as well,” Stone explained.
Hopefully the grant will be announced as awarded sometime in the next 30 days, he said. The total amount of the grant is $100,000, with the city providing a $60,000 match.
Cong. Mike Rogers has sent a letter to USDA endorsing the project, Stone said.
The second USDA grant would create a revolving loan fund that would provide low or no interest loans to existing businesses wishing to expand or new businesses locating anywhere in the city.
There are two different types of grants available under this particular program, Stone said. The city has a better chance of being awarded the type that requires a 25 percent local match, but a decision on what type and how much to apply for will probably need to wait until the budget process gets underway.
“Either way, the city has its own capital to hand out for small businesses, anywhere in the city,” he said.
Stone also said the city is also “exploring some other opportunities available through the Economic Development Authority,” but declined to discuss these until the options had been presented to the council.
The police grants, if awarded, will go into effect later this year and early next year, according to Captain of Investigations Ronny Jones. In August or September, if successful, the city will get five new patrol officers and one new investigator, who must be hired from outside. This grant would cover equipment, police academy and any specialty training.
The second grant would provide six more patrol officers next year for a special unit to patrol the city’s subsidized housing projects and a three block surrounding radius. The second grant, if awarded, would also come with half a dozen vehicles.