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Workshop attendees learn about grants

Word in December was that federal dollars released through the economic stimulus package would find its way to ADECA.

As such, Director Bill Johnson said his office received $6.2 billion in grant requests from agencies across the state between December and February.

“We did end up getting some stimulus money, but not for what people requested,” said Johnson.

ADECA’s Alabama Rural Action Commission was in Greenville on Tuesday presenting a grant workshop.

Johnson said ADECA manages many different federal programs, but Tuesday’s workshop was about helping people understand how grants are administered.

Representatives from volunteer fire departments, civic-minded citizens and city departments attended Tuesday’s meeting, but the meeting also brought people from out-of-count as well.

Melissa Baxley came from Samson in Geneva County. She was interested in grants that might be acquired to assist goat farmers.

Jessica Dent, ARAC Community Planning Coordinator, encouraged attendees to first look to their own community for project resources, but approach each project with an open mind.

“Involve your elected officials,” she said. “But you have to get over territorial disputes – the Sunday morning split and the Friday night football games.”

Dent encouraged attendees to be wary of grant writers.

“The Federal Government never intended for someone to have to write a grant for you,” she said. “There are some grants that are more complex and require more attention, and then it’s good to have someone familiar with the process. But be sure to check references and do your homework on grant writers.”