SPENCER, N.C. (WBTV) - Town of Spencer officials received good news to kick off Thanksgiving weekend, which will impact the community for years to come. Tuesday evening, NC Department of Commerce Rural Economic Development Division notified Mayor Jonathan Williams of the Town’s award of $750,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for its Neighborhood Revitalization Program.
“I couldn’t have asked for better timing,” said Williams. “We will enjoy Thanksgiving with extra gratitude and anticipation of the many families that will benefit from this investment in coming years.”
Funds may be spent on rehabilitation, acquisition, emergency repairs or other eligible housing activities. Spencer’s project will meet livability program principles of expanding location and energy-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races, and ethnicities to increase mobility and lower the combined cost of housing and transportation; and enhancing the unique characteristics of all communities by investing in healthy, safe, and walkable neighborhoods.
In the closing weeks of Interim Town Manager Dave Treme’s 18 months with Spencer, the notification marked a key milestone in achieving priorities of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen’s strategic plan, established earlier this year. Treme has a long history of seeking partnerships to achieve results. Upon finding out that Spencer had either never or not recently pursued federal CDBG funding, Treme assembled a group to plan how the community could administer and benefit from such an investment.
“There is much wisdom in a multitude of counsel,” said Treme. “We appreciate our group of community members who helped guide our application, as well as our partners at the Salisbury Community Development Corporation who assisted with the application process and will administer the program on behalf of us.”
Spencer’s Interim Planning Director Joe Morris and Salisbury CDC Executive Director Chanaka Yatawara will work closely to identify potential homeowners who have property repair needs within the Town of Spencer. Over the next two to three years, up to $72,000 in repairs per qualified low-to-moderate income homeowner will help restore about a dozen properties within the town.
Town staff will receive further guidance on the award in the weeks to come, and then Town and Salisbury CDC staff will begin work to accept the grant and identify potential recipients. The Board of Aldermen appointed a housing selection committee to facilitate this process. Carla Rose, association director of the Salisbury Rowan REALTORS® is chair, joined by Spencer Aldermen Bob Bish and Sam Morgan, and community members Ed Hull and Annie Bates.
For more information, please call the Town of Spencer at 704-633-2231.