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CANNELTON - Cannelton was one of 33 communities reaping more than $15 million in Community Focus Fund grants Dec. 14 in Indianapolis.
Cannelton's share was $254,700, and will help the city improve its storm-water infrastructure.
City Clerk-Treasurer Arvina Bozarth and Nathan Held, a project assistant with the Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission, attended a Statehouse ceremony where Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman presented the grants. The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs administers the grants, which are funded through the federal Community Development Block Grant program.
"Grant opportunities like this one allow rural communities to undertake projects they might not otherwise be able to fund," Skillman said. "The Community Focus Fund grants provide communities with the resources they need to achieve their longterm development goals and eliminate the barriers that stand in the way of their economic success."
Officials in Cannelton and other cities throughout Indiana are working to comply with mandates from the Environmental Protection Agency to separate storm- and sanitary-sewer systems built with features that permit heavy runoff to infiltrate sanitary systems and flush sewage into public waters.
According to OCRA spokeswoman Anne Bell, the city will use the grant funding to make upgrades that will prevent such overflows.
"The infrastructure at the city's lowest elevation level will be targeted by the project, which will improve drainage for the whole city," she wrote in a news release. "This project will eliminate damage from flooding of residents' streets and yards and prevent sewage back-ups into homes."
Community Focus Fund grants are awarded twice annually through a competitive application process. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to: community and senior centers, special-needs facilities, libraries, water-system improvements, storm drainage projects and sewer-system improvements.