River Falls mayor hopes grant will help town with more street repairs

Published 12:38 am Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Town of River Falls is looking to improve its streets by way of the state’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

River Falls has previously received this grant, which offered much needed improvements to the town’s roads.

“If you talk to those people in town that benefited from the paving and repaving last time, I’m sure they’d tell you how proud they were,” River Falls Mayor Patricia Gunter said of the previous grant.

Gunter said that the town had dealt with a lot of issues with its garbage truck and even ambulances having issues getting through some roads after big rains.

“It would get to the point where some of the roads were almost impossible,” she said.

Even after many of the town’s problem roads had been paved or repaved, there are even more in need of help.

River Falls is proposing to construct improvements to portions of Covington Street, Gantt Road, Francess Avenue, Firehouse Road and Ferrell Road.

Gunter said that the town applied for this same grant, which is a maximum of $250,000, last year, but was turned down.

“The town applied for a block grant before I took office and it didn’t get approved, too,” she said. “We reapplied my first year and it was approved so we’re hoping this will be our year again.”

Gunter said that the county helps River Falls out abundantly with its roads, but there are still many more needed improvements.

“The county is so good to help us, because we don’t have our own road crew,” she said. “We just really need to get some paving done of dirt roads, and some repaving of streets that really need to be resurfaced.”

For a small town like River Falls, these block grants can be essential to the town’s infrastructure, Gunter said.

“These grants are great because if you can get help doing any project, without having to put in any or much money of the town’s money, to make improvements on our infrastructure then that’s huge,” she said. “There’s no price tag you can put on something like that. It just helps so much.”

The grant application will be submitted in the coming weeks, with an expected decision by year’s end.