Area communities receive block grants

By Kevin Wilson and Sharna Johnson

This week five communities in Curry and Roosevelt counties got the more than $2 million boost they need to complete important projects.

State community development block grants were awarded Tuesday during an allocation council meeting.

Of 11 communities in Eastern New Mexico that applied, Curry and Roosevelt counties were awarded nearly half the $4.6 million that was given for community betterment projects.

“All 11 applications from our region were funded and will have enough money to do their projects,” said Eastern Plains Council of Governments Interim Director Sandy Chancey during a Wednesday morning executive committee meeting.

Clovis, Texico and Melrose received grants to complete wastewater system improvements, Portales the money to improve street drainage and Elida money for a senior community center, according to a list provided by Chancey.

Other Eastern New Mexico communities who received grants were Guadalupe, De Baca and Quay counties as well as Clayton, Fort Sumner and San Jon.

The grants, given by the office of Housing and Urban Development, issue up to $500,000 toward a community project which directly impacts low-income members of the community.

Communities are required to meet a 10 percent cash match in exchange.

The city of Clovis received $500,000 to construct a new sewer line along Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Curry County Grant Writer Rachel Visser said the money for Melrose will pay for the next phase of improvements to the village’s wastewater treatment plant.

Though Curry County requested the full $500,000, the $400,000 awarded will be enough to complete the phase, Visser said.

Still in the second phase, the project has been paid for completely through the annual state grant program, with awards of $400,000 and $500,000 to date.

Construction of the third phase is expected to be completed by November.

“The village of Melrose has been faced with several challenges over the past several years with their lagoon,” said County Manager Lance Pyle, a Melrose native.

“We are very excited to receive this grant for $425,000 to continue to assist the village on this much needed project for wastewater improvements.”

Last year money from a CDBG grant paid to construct the Melrose Health Clinic, which is expected to open in July.

2011 Community Development Block Grant awards:

• City of Clovis Wastewater system improvements $500,000

• City of Texico Wastewater system improvements $308,881

• City of Portales Street/drainage improvements $427,407

• Curry County Wastewater system improvements $425,000

• Town of Elida Senior/community center $400,000