Excitement rained throughout Woodbury City Hall Thursday afternoon when town officials received word it had been awarded a $500,000 Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) from the State of Tennessee.
The money will be used for much-needed improvements to the town's water system.
"I am ecstatic, almost speechless," Mayor Harold Patrick said. "I wasn't expecting it this soon. This money will go a long way toward getting our water system rehabilitation projects done."
Only about half the project requests across the state were funded this year, Patrick said.
"I am pleased the state saw fit to fund this very worthy project that will help us reduce our water loss," Patrick said. "We are very appreciative of State Representative Stratton Bone and State Senator Mae Beavers for their efforts in assisting us acquire the grant."
Charlene Odom, City Recorder, added, "This is wonderful news. It (the grant) will help us make improvements to our water system and in turn better serve our customers.
The city received a similar grant two years ago, Public Works Director Public Works Director Alan Paschal said. A portion of that grant was used to purchase Master meters, he said.
"We bought four then and we need 20 more," Paschal said. "They help us find where water loss is occurring quicker."
"This is great news for us," Paschal said. "It is going to help us continue to get our water loss down, which in turn helps us keep water rates as low as possible."
Governor Phil Bredesen and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber announced the grant this week.
“These grants are essential to the growth and maintenance of the infrastructure that attracts new jobs and other investments that help Tennessee communities thrive,” said Governor Bredesen. “I’m pleased the state of Tennessee is able to assist and our partnership with our communities continues.”
The funds were allocated under a procedure authorized by the Tennessee General Assembly.
“Economic growth and job creation is a team effort between the state and local communities and it starts from the ground up,” said Commissioner Kisber. “I’m pleased we’re able to partner with these CDBG recipients to lay the groundwork for future economic growth.”
Allocation of CDBG funds is based on priorities set at local levels where community needs are best known. The CDBG program is administered in Tennessee by the Department of Economic and Community Development.
WOODBURY'S PROGRAM NARRATIVE:
The proposed project requests CDBG funds for the continuation of an aggressive water loss reduction program for the Town of Woodbury. The project is needed to reduce the persistent and severe water loss currently being experienced by the Woodbury Water Distribution System. Based on the annual average water loss of 55%, it is imperative that a long-term economical solution to reduce and further prevent the water loss problem be implemented. The project as proposed is dependant upon obtaining a substantial grant.
The Woodbury Water Distribution System serves 3,409 residential customers. Results of a Target Area Survey reflect the following beneficiaries: 7,410 persons, 6,847 (92.4%) of whom qualify as LMI; 163 minorities (2.2%); 1,356 female heads of households (18.3%); 2,053 elderly persons (27.7%); and 526 (7.1%) disabled individuals.
In spite of concentrated efforts on the town’s part, the necessary repairs exceed the capabilities of city forces and city finances. Since the town is unable to accomplish the needed repairs by force account, the importance of obtaining grant funds is therefore critical to the feasibility of the proposed project.
The scope of this proposal is designed to replace 500 water meters and assemblies and reconnect to customer service; replace 15,000 linear feet of 3/4 inch copper service lines; install 1,500 linear feet 6-inch pressure class 350 ductile iron waterlines, and install four (4) 6-inch zone flow master meters with telemetry.
The total project cost is estimated at $575,000 with proposed sources of funds including a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant and local matching funds in the amount of $75,000 to be acquired from the Woodbury Water and Sewer Fund.