A public hearing is part of the grant process of getting a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and that part was taken care of Wednesday at the county administration building. Pickens County residents were invited to participate and give their input regarding how a potential $500,000 grant may be used to help the lower income bracket of the population.
As it stands, David Ronningen who is the grant administrator for the project, says that should the grant be awarded that money has been designated to the Good Samaritan group in Pickens County. Currently, there are several divisions of the Good Samaritan housed in various temporary trailers on the property off Church Road in Jasper. This money would be allocated to build permanent structures and streamline departments into fewer facilities.
The ground work has already begun with the Good Samaritan and the county putting in some site-prep work and mutual monies. The Good Samaritan has $300,000 to invest into making the buildings a reality. The projected total cost would be around $871,755 of which the $500,000 grant would fund a large portion.
A citizen in attendance was able to relate her personal story of how a family member was assisted by the Good Samaritan health services when other doctors weren’t available for a potential heart problem. With limited resources, unless it was proven to be an emergency situation the recipient couldn’t afford to go to the emergency room so chose the Good Samaritan as a quick alternative to her regular physican who was unable to see her on a timely basis. They now recommend Good Samaritan to everyone they know for not only their quick response but also the level of care and thoroughness they provided.
It’s stories like those that the grant writers can submit with the application to show how positively the agency affects the community and its indispensable status to those they serve.
Ronningen has an April 1 deadline to meet all the requirements and get the grant application submitted. The grant choices will be announced in August and awarded at a ceremony in September after which the funds will be available to the recipients.
The CDBG grant is paid through HUD (Housing and Urban Development) and administered by the Georgia DCA (Department of Community Affairs). Per documentation provided at the hearing,
“at least 70 percent of the persons benefitting from the project must be in a low and moderate income range…Beneficiaries, considered to be ‘limited clientele’ (e.g. mentally or physically handicapped, abused, homeless, elderly, etc.) are considered to be low/mod income regardless of income.”
Cash or in-kind services, such as the site prep work, also affect eligibility scoring.
Previous story, March 12, 2014:
A public hearing has been scheduled for March 19 for input on a grant worth up to $500,000 through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The public can attend at the County Administration Building, 1266 East Church Street, Jasper, from 12 p.m.-2 p.m.
If successful, the grant will be utilized by the Good Samaritan although by grant bylaws the funds will be monitored at the county level. Per language supplied by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs it must be utilized for housing, public facilities, economic development and/or assistance for needy or low income families.
Please see the following statement for further details: