The town of St. Paul, the Huntsville Water Department and a water project in south Madison County all officially received grant money last week during a ceremony in Little Rock.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson and other state officials last Thursday presented grants totaling more than $8.8 million to 78 Arkansas communities and counties at a ceremony at the Arkansas State Capitol.
The grants fall into one of four programs administered by Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC): Arkansas Community and Economic Development Grant Program (ACEDP), Rural Services Block Grants, Rural Community Grants, and County Fair Building Grants.
The town of St. Paul received a grant to renovate its community center.
The Huntsville Water Department received its $200,000 grant for a new water tank to be built atop Governor’s Hill. Manager Larry Garrett announced the grant earlier this year, and said the department is seeking additional funding toward the project.
Hutchinson also presented Madison County with its $1 million grant for a water extension project. The Mt. Olive Water Association previously received $7.8 million in federal funding to run water from St. Paul to Red Star.
Mt. Olive buys water from the City of Fayetteville and from the Madison County Water Facilities Board. The water comes from the Beaver Lake Water District.
District 82 State Rep. Sarah Capp announced that St. Paul received a $75,000 Rural Services Block Grant for fiscal year 2020.
Mayor Nina Selz said the grant will help repair the community center, and bring it up to code with Americans With Disability Act requirements.
The building was constructed in the 1800s.
Selz attended a ceremony Oct. 24 in Little Rock to officially receive the money. After paperwork is completed, the council will be seeking bids for the project.
“It needs some repair because mortar is falling out between stones and water’s coming in,” Selz said of the community center.
“We’re just going to do repairs to that building, and we’re going to bring it up to code for handicap, because we’re going to be one of the five voting centers in Madison County. We have to get it to ADA compliance.”
The second part of renovations will be to replace the bandstand, which was built by volunteers in the 1960s or 1970s, she said.
St. Paul will have to pay 10 percent of the grant, or $7,500, Selz said.
“We’re going to have to budget for $7,500. We figure it will be worth it,” she said.
Capp said she was happy for the community in southern Madison County.
“One of my proudest accomplishments in the legislature is standing for our rural communities,” she said.
“It’s in these small communities where the heart of Arkansas is found, so anytime we can secure such a grant for places just like St. Paul, we are truly breathing life into our state. I congratulate St. Paul and am so excited to see what the future holds.”