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Stimulus boost coming our way

It appears some of the massive federal stimulus funding will reach the city of Cairo and help improve the city’s water service.
City Manager Chris Addleton reported to council Monday that a city project which was one of 599 projects considered for funding with federal stimulus funds has made the short list of approved projects.
The city applied for $1.5 million from the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority, which is one of the state conduits for stimulus funds, to finance a new water well and construction of a new ground water storage tank and treatment plant.
Through the stimulus backed GEFA loan forgiveness program, $1,050,000 of the principal will be forgiven and the city’s actual cost will be $450,000.
According to Addleton, if GEFA approves the city’s loan application, that will free up $1.5 million in bond proceeds for the construction of an elevated water storage tank on the city’s west side.
The new well and treatment plant will also be constructed on the city’s west side.
Addleton says 52 projects, including Cairo’s, made the fundable list. Each projected was awarded points based on specific criteria. The range of funded projects was from 500 to 650, with the Cairo project scoring 550.
“This is, hopefully, guaranteed. I don’t see a problem with the loan application process and this certainly will help us do the well and elevated tank at the same time. It’s great news for us,” Addleton said.
The city is also pursing two other projects that could be funded with stimulus dollars.
Improvements to 17th Ave. N.W. is a project the city has applied for stimulus funding for through the Georgia Department of Transportation. The project was not funded in Phase I, and Addleton says the city has only an outside chance of the $150,000 being funded in Phase II. “We’ve still got a chance, but I don’t look for this one to make it,” the city manager said.
Addleton says the city’s grant writer is optimistic that the 6th Ave. N.W. storm water improvements designed to provide access for the northwest Cairo neighborhood known as the Hotbeds has a good chance of being funded with stimulus dollars.
The city will be applying for a $350,000 Community Development Block Grant to finance this project and the application must be submitted by June 1.
Grant writer Bob Roberson of Bob Roberson & Associates has told city officials the project will score well in the application process.

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