Louisa, Southampton get grants to aid in earthquake reconstruction

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced on Friday more than $1.3 million in Community Development Block Grants funding through the Urgent Needs Open Submission program and the Community Economic Development program for Louisa and Southampton counties to aid in earthquake reconstruction.

“Whether it is rebuilding after a natural disaster or supporting economic growth in a locality, the Commonwealth supports using appropriate resources to make Virginia a better place to live and work,” McDonnell said.

Louisa County received a grant for $622,000 for the rehabilitation and replacement of homes severely damaged by the August 2011 5.8-magnitude earthquake. Under the Urgent Needs Open Submission program, eligible projects alleviate existing conditions which pose a serious and immediate threat to the health and welfare of the community.

Southampton County received $700,000 to support the construction of a wood pellet manufacturing center. This project is expected to directly create at least 64 new full-time jobs. This project was funded under the CDBG Community Economic Development program, which provides financial assistance for up to $700,000 to localities to support economic development activities that create employment opportunities for low- to moderate-income persons.

Since 1982, the federally-funded CDBG program has been administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and Virginia receives up to $16 million annually for this “small cities” grant program. CDBG grants are awarded through a competitive process.

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