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County seeking grant for upgrades to Owens Road

A $350,000 grant will be sought as part of an estimated $460,000 project to improve Owens Road.

On Monday, the Butler County Commissioners authorized submittal of a grant application through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs’ Community Development Block Grant program.

The intent of a CDBG is to make improvements in areas that impact the quality of life for low to moderate income communities.

Butler County Engineer Dennis McCall said the Owens Road project would benefit 103 residents that would be considered part of a low to moderate income community.

The project would include widening, leveling, resurfacing and striping Owens Road, Pigeon Creek Road and Patsiliga Road, which would span approximately four miles.

While McCall said the project more than satisfies the guidelines for a Community Development Block Gran, he also acknowledged that it’s difficult to secure grant funding for such projects through the program. Grants are typically directed towards water and sewer upgrades, according to McCall.

“Road improvement applications standing alone are the most difficult to get,” he said.

The same project was submitted last year, but was not awarded a grant.

“Other projects were considered, but the consensus of the commission was that given the amount of work put into the application last year, we should give it another chance for possible funding,” he said.

The county’s proposal will be competing with grant applications from other areas.

Since 1982, ADECA has administered the state’s Community Development Block Grant program with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

ADECA has awarded more than a billion dollars in CDBG money to fund more than 4,000 projects, according to its website.