MONTGOMERY — Gov. Kay Ivey has announced a $200,000 grant to provide improvements for businesses and residents in the city of Oxford’s downtown district.
The funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission will be combined with a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant awarded in 2022 by Gov. Ivey to lessen the risk of flooding and remove dilapidated structures as part of a downtown revitalization effort.
“This project will help the residents of Oxford by removing the immediate threat of localized flooding while also creating a positive economic impact in the area by removing blighted structures in the downtown business district and beyond,” Gov. Ivey said. “I am pleased to announce this grant that will provide multiple benefits for the city.”
During heavy and frequent rains, city leaders say that water threatens several buildings and houses and can result in structural and property damage.
The city will construct a detention pond or holding basin to take on the excess water during heavy rains that results in the flooding. Water captured in the detention pond will be released at a slower rate than normal rain runoff reducing the possibilities of the flooding.
Under the CDBG part of the funding allocation, the city plans to demolish and remove several dilapidated houses and commercial buildings. That removal will clear the way for additional businesses to locate in the area.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers the ARC program in Alabama.
“I commend local leaders for having the foresight to apply for and receive grants from both of these programs,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “The combined resources from the ARC and CDBG programs reduce the amount of local funds the city must allocate toward this much needed project.”
Gov. Ivey notified Oxford Mayor Alton Craft that the grant had been approved. The city of Oxford has pledged $140,410 as its part of the project.
ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments. The agency’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. Thirty-seven Alabama counties, including Calhoun County, are part of the ARC region and eligible for funds.
ADECA manages a range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.
Jim Plott or Mike Presley
ADECA Communications and External Affairs