Governor's office awards money for community development

The Governor's Office issued this press release to detail the awarding of funds for community improvements:

MONTGOMERY-Gov. Bob Riley has awarded $192,000 to help six Alabama municipalities and one county government plan for future improvements.

The Community Development Block Grants will assist the local governments to formulate strategic measures to address or prevent problems, attract business and industry, meet challenges and improve the quality of life for residents.

"Planning is a key to success, not just for individuals, but also for towns, cities and counties," Riley said. "These grants will help local officials set goals and focus on the issues facing their communities and residents."

Wilcox County and four municipalities each received grants to develop comprehensive plans that will provide a 10 to 15-year framework for guiding community growth and development. Factors considered in comprehensive planning include population and growth trends, economic development, land use, transportation and traffic flow, recreation and historic attractions.

Comprehensive planning grants were awarded to Cherokee, $10,000; Somerville, $28,000; Lowndesboro, $16,000; Union Springs, $36,000; and Wilcox County, $40,000.

Hamilton is receiving a $32,000 grant to develop a plan to revitalize its downtown area. The plan will address downtown utilities and infrastructure, parking and building renovation.

Prichard was awarded a $30,000 grant for a plan to redevelop Alabama Village, a distressed inner-city neighborhood. The plan will cover clearance of substandard buildings, construction of new housing and renovation of a park.

Funding for the grants was provided to the state by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs will administer the awards.