Cleveland may seek revitalization grant
By Kathy Chaffin
CLEVELAND ó The Board of Commissioners is considering applying for a Community Development Block Grant to help revitalize the town.
Angelo Franceschina of the Rural Initiative Project in Winston-Salem ó who is working with the West Rowan Neighborhood Center Advisory Council on restoring the R.A. Clement School ó encouraged the board to apply.
Because of the current economic conditions, Franceschina said he thought the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) might waive the required local commitment because the town is so small and has some serious development needs. “It’s a good opportunity for small towns.”
“If we don’t get in this year, let’s get in next year,” he said later in the meeting. “Let’s don’t rush it.”
Franceschina said HUD is also being more flexible on application deadlines and the training required of applicants. “This is a very difficult application,” he said.
Commissioners John Bradford and Mary Frank “Frankie” Fleming-Adkins volunteered to serve on a committee to make a recommendation on whether to apply for a grant.
As part of the application process, Franceschina said commissioners would need to decide on a target area to develop. He has worked with other small towns, such as Snow Hill, on Community Development Block Grant projects.
There is no charge for helping the board to apply, he said, adding that his fees for services beyond that point would be included in the grant. Fees are required to be less than 10 percent of the total amount awarded.
Mayor Jim Brown said the town had never applied for a Community Development Block Grant before.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249.