HCI grants are eyed for three area projects
by JOYANNA WEBER, Banner Staff Writer
Jan 25, 2013 | 890 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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At least three projects will be funded though the Healthy Community Initiative grants this year, with a possible one or two more projects still being considered.

Bradley County EMS, Farmers Market North and Prospect Elementary School will receive funding for projects.

The grant being awarded to Prospect Elementary School is $3,000 of the requested $20,000.

Committee member Pat Cawood said the $20,000 was to build a pavilion and expand a walkway at the school.

She said limited funding meant approving the full amount would limit funding for other projects.

The walkway will cover a ditch making a handicap-accessible pathway to the school trail. Several committee members said the committee has not funded pavilions in the past.

Bradley County EMS and Farmers Market North received the full amount.

Projects that remain in the running for consideration include funding for a Bradley County mountain bike trail, Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society and the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway.

Committee member Tommy Ledford questioned the number of people who would use a mountain bike trail.

Chairperson Lisa Stanbery wanted more information on the engineering of the trail before approving the grant.

Stanberry said she had seen many trails destroyed by water because they were poorly engineered.

“I just think it’s too big a request for the cycle we’re in, personally,” committee member J. Adam Lowe said. “I think it would be used as much as the Greenway.”

The grant request is for $40,930.

Ledford also asked who will be maintaining the trail. Bradley County Commission assistant Amy Moore said the county would maintain it.

Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society is requesting $23,700. Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway is requesting $50,000.

These organizations will be invited to present their proposals to the committee. Each group will have 10 minutes to present with five additional minutes to answer questions from the group members.

The committee received 10 letters of intent. Some projects were initially removed from the list at the suggestion of a committee member because they did not meet the grant requirements or would not be completed within the needed time frame.

A grant application for the Bradley County Parks and Recreation Department was not approved because the letter of intent did not meet technical requirements. Lowe pointed out the department had not completely used funding from a previous grant.

Similarly, Life Bridges was not approved because it had not used all of its grant money in a previous year.

A grant application for Walker Valley High School’s broadcasting program was not approved because committee members determined it did not fall within the guidelines of healthcare, wellness or quality of life required by the committee.

The Bradley County Office of Veterans Affairs applied for an extension to the one-year deadline for completing work paid for by the grant. Moore said the project is complete. The VA office just needs more time to obtain invoices to submit for reimbursement.

“I think we should have them complete the grant application process because that’s what we’ve done in the past,” Stanbery said.

Organizations receiving grants will be asked to fill out a complete application.

The committee had about $92,000 in grant money this year. Moore said the committee will probably have more next year. This additional revenue is expected to come from money left over from budgeting a 5 percent interest rate on payments for the Cleveland Bradley County Library debt; however, the interest rate actually came in at only 1 percent. These payments are made out of the same fund as the HCI grants.