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Commission passes on ADECA grant application

Following a special meeting July 12, the county commission has determined it will not proceed with plans to apply for an Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs grant to fund the purchase of an additional storm shelter for the county.

In a public hearing prior to the commission’s regularly-scheduled monthly work session, Tiffany Boyd with NACOLG was on hand to discuss the possibility of the county applying for a $400,000 grant through ADECA.

Although no members of the public attended to share input on the proposed grant, Franklin County EMA Director Mary Hallman-Glass, Commission Chairman Barry Moore and commissioners Joseph Baldwin and Jason Moore discussed the grant application, particularly the potential for using the funding for one or more additional storm shelters in the county.

Commissioners Chris Wallace and David Hester were not present during the public hearing.

Although storm shelters are located at each Franklin County volunteer fire department, Hallman-Glass explained the EMA was looking into the possibility of erecting additional public shelters on private properties, in partnership with property owners who would agree to take on the maintenance of the shelters and be responsible for opening them to the public during times of inclement weather.

Hallman-Glass said the county was particularly eyeing, with great interest, a potential spot in Hodges that would be a prime location, with the nearby church of Christ volunteering its parking lot to anyone coming to use the shelter.

ByJuly 13, however, Hallman-Glass said the EMA had determined the county would be unable to use the funding to put a shelter on the Hodges site because of the nature of the grant, as stipulations prohibit using county grant money for projects within city limits. Further, the county was having difficulty getting community members to commit to the shelters in their area of the county.

With their prime location off the table, Moore and Hallman-Glass said the county will not apply for the funding after all, since no other qualifying projects have been discussed.

Moore said while it’s possible the county could have still applied for the grant for a different purpose, the application deadline was too tight to prepare another potential proposal for usage of the grant funding before the deadline expires.

The grant has to be submitted Aug. 16 to ADECA. NACOLG wants to get all documentation by the end of the month,” Moore explained.