Obtaining grants could become harder
by Anthony Gonzalez
Over the last decade, Elkin town officials have secured almost $12 million in grants and other awards to offset funding costs for local initiatives, indicates a report.
The grants and awards assisted the airport, parks and recreation, the fire and police department, sewer and water projects and other infrastructure.
According to the report, 2006 yielded the biggest return to local projects with $2,184,783 received. The least performing year was 2004 with $151,500 in grants and awards.
Though 2011 had more than $1 million in grants, 2012 saw a reduction, checking in $534,033. The airport received the bulk of the cash with $525,000 in grants, mostly for lighting construction.
For 2012, Walmart provided $3,000 to support in 2012 to Elkin’s Parks and Recreation, the Elkin Police Department, and the Elkin Fire Department.
The U.S Department of Justice gave a $838 grant to the Elkin Police Department for a bullet proof vest initiative.
Duke Energy gave downtown operations a $2,000 grant.
The League of Municipalities steered a $1,750 wellness grant to Elkin.
The NC Adopt-a-Trail gave Elkin Parks and Recreation a $1,445 grant.
“Looking back at some of the prior years, the town was involved in major projects such as the Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority,” said John W. Holcomb, assistant town manager/finance director for the Town of Elkin. Holcomb said that up to $4 million alone was dedicated for specific sewer projects.
Holcomb added that there are fewer opportunities to receive grants now.
“As you know with the slowdown in the economy over the past five years or so, many granting agencies have had smaller pools of funds available in which to provide grants from. We have also seen a strong trend in the past 3-4 years in which grant funding was based on the creation of new jobs. I expect this requirement to continue but hopefully to evolve to also include grants that would focus on job retention as well,” said Holcomb.
“We could not function without grant revenue and do many of the things that Elkin needs done,” said Elkin Mayor Lestine Hutchens. “The administrative team makes it its business to go out there and find grants. We’ve learned how to write grants. We look for any type of grant that provides clean water, DENR grants, we are basically on the lookout for anyone that steps up for rural towns.”
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