Bluffton council sets federal grant priorities

achristnovich@islandpacket.comMarch 13, 2012 

  • Bluffton Town Council approved the following proclamations during Tuesday's meeting :

  • Disabilities Awareness Month

  • The 20th anniversary of Second Helpings charity

  • American Red Cross Month

  • MS Awareness week

  • Professional Social Workers Month
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Bluffton Town Council voted Tuesday to pursue federal grants that would pay for improvements to sewer and water systems, stormwater drainage, housing and pedestrian safety in low-to-moderate income areas.

The vote, taken annually, prioritizes projects and is required by Community Development Block Grant program.

The program, run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, has given $1.5 million to the town since 2008, project director James Ayer said. That money funded a sewer system, sidewalks and lighting for the Buck Island-Simmonsville project development.

Improving sewer and water systems was council's top priority followed by stormwater drainage, housing improvements and pedestrian safety.

A low- to- medium-income family of four in Beaufort County makes about $55,850 a year, according to HUD.

Michelle Knight of the Lowcountry Council of Government said the council's best bet for getting projects chosen for grant money is to keep the focus areas general.

"You can be as specific as you want to be... but sometimes the more specific you are the more you pigeon hole yourself" she said.

Council expects to apply for several different grants under the program throughout the year.

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