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East Spencer applies for state, regional grants for upcoming projects

EAST SPENCER — The town is in the process of applying for a number of grants, according to presentations given during Tuesday night’s board meeting.

The East Spencer Fire Department received approval to proceed with a grant offered through the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.

Lt. Josh Smith told the board this is a 100 percent grant of $19,602.69 and would help pay for needed equipment.

The grant can be used not only for equipment, but prevention education, scholarships, disaster preparedness and support for members of the military.

Smith said the station is in need of several nozzles, which can run from $600 to $2,000 apiece, as well as hoses, pagers for volunteers, flashlights and one more thermal imaging camera.

“They buy the equipment, send it to us and we send them the packing slips saying we received it,” Smith said.

The department has applied for a state grant that is a 50/50 match. The match is up to $25,000, he said.

The grant is offered several times a year, Smith said.

Mayor Barbara Mallett requested Town Administrator Macon Sammons Jr. talk with Fire Chief Shawn McBride to see how much and where the money would come from to meet the grant match.

The board will have a public hearing at 6:30 p.m., Monday to discuss a Community Development Block Grant for the town’s water infrastructure rehabilitation project. The town plans to apply for the grant to help with its water loss issues. The grant is offered through N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Division of Water Infrastructure.

The goal is to file an application by the Oct. 2 deadline, but first the board must hold two public hearings. The second public hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Sept. 16.

According to Sammons, this grant would not eliminate the need for the rate increase, but it should help make the system more viable and financially sustainable. The board hopes it has as much success as the town of Garland in Sampson County which was awarded $1.56 million in Block Grant funds to improve its sewer system. Garland has fewer than 1,000 people, and East Spencer town staff feels confident its chances are good to receive the grant.

The board hopes to contract with consultant firm Site Solutions of Charlotte to get help with its application for this grant. The grant is to redevelop Royal Giants Park.

The firm came highly recommended by others outside of East Spencer.

Sammons said the company has a good track record. The company worked with Spencer Woods and other projects.

Alderwoman Tammy Corpening asked if there were other organizations the town staff could’ve contacted.

Sammons said there is no time if the board wants to meet the October deadline.

The application must be submitted by February in order to be considered for the redevelopment grant.

As of late August, the town has $116,000 of the needed $300,000 in match money. The Robertson Family Foundation awarded the town the money to be applied to the park upgrades.

The grant can be used to acquire land or develop parks and recreational projects.

While the town is in the midst of applying for various grants, it has already received a few within the last two months.

In July, the town announced it had received $36,000 collectively with the town of Spencer from the N.C. Department of Transportation for a pedestrian and bicycle planning grant.

Also in July, the town received a N.C. Catalyst Grant to renovate dilapidated homes and provide emergency repairs to other homes.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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