River Falls seeking paving grant

Published 12:01 am Thursday, March 28, 2013

For the second time in 20 years, River Falls is pursuing grant funds; however, public input is needed to make the project a success.

Mayor Patricia Gunter said Wednesday the town is seeking an estimated $250,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to pave three city streets – Ellis Avenue, Greenwood Court and portion of Crittenden Road. The grant does not require the usual 20 percent match, Gunter said.

Town officials applied last year for the money; however, the project wasn’t funded because of the lack of community support.

“We don’t want that to happen again,” Gunter said. “Many years ago, I think in late 80s early 90s, we got the same type of grant that went toward some housing updates, weatherizing and roofs and all. Last year, only five people showed up the public hearing, so we’re trying to get word out.

“We’re not guaranteed the money, but we’ve got to try,” she said.

The public hearing will be held Monday at 5:30 p.m. at town hall.

“This meeting is to give the public an opportunity to talk about what kind of things they need,” Gunter said. “The town needs as much local participation as possible in order to reflect the true desires of the community as a whole, as well as the comments relating to the proposed project application.”

Activities that are eligible for funding include the improvement of public works, public facilities, housing rehabilitation, and others allowed by law. At least 51 percent of the funds must be used to benefit low- and moderate-income persons.

Gunter said she and council members have been pleased with the town’s progress after its mayor of 30-plus years pleaded guilty to theft charges last year and resigned.

“Amazed, really,” she said. “We’ve still got a long way to go and a lot more to figure out.”

For more information, or if you require special accommodations at the hearing, contact Gunter at 334-222-3510.