Greenville receives grant for city plan

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 20, 2006

The Camellia City is getting some help in planning for its future. Gov. Bob Riley has awarded Greenville $50,000 to help the city chart a course for the future.

The Community Development Block Grant will enable city leaders to develop a plan outlining the city's needs and an approach to address those needs.

According to Mayor Dexter McLendon, the grant is coming not a moment too soon.

&#8220Everyone here is aware the city is growing. We really need to be prepared to do a comprehensive plan to get ready for that growth,” McLendon said.

With new businesses opening near Interstate 65 and the location of three Hyundai supplier plants, the city is now at an economic crossroads.

&#8220A comprehensive plan is a blueprint for local governments to make the best use of their resources for residents,” Riley said.

&#8220An updated plan will help Greenville officials manage growth and improve the quality of life in their community.”

The plan will help the city develop strategies that maximize economic growth opportunities while protecting the city's resources and its existing downtown retail area, McLendon said.

&#8220We have to deal with the increasing traffic on the bypass and other areas; we need to look at other areas suitable for additional industrial development.”

First and foremost, McLendon said, &#8220is the need to put a plan in place to help improve our public school system.”

&#8220That's what everyone that has children and is considering a move to a community looks at – the local school system. As the school system improves, it will bring a lot more people into the area,” the mayor said.

&#8220We want to do everything we can to help Mr. Looney and the school board bring the system to the level of excellence they are seeking.”

Components of the plan will include an analysis of city resources as well as recommendations and strategies to accomplish the goals and objectives outlined in the plan.

Funding for the grant was made available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs will administer the grant.

McLendon said an additional $15,000 of local matching funds would be added for the plan.