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Grant increases for housing project

The Commonwealth Regional Council gave an update regarding the housing rehabilitation in Dillwyn at Wednesday’s meeting, noting an increase of more than $200,000 in the amount for a grant award.

Dillwyn was announced as one of 15 localities in Virginia receiving grants, according to a news release from Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Sept. 15, 2017.

The Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) aid localities in Virginia to complete projects improving health care access, water and sewer infrastructure, downtown revitalization, public safety and housing rehabilitation, according to the news release.

Dillwyn’s Housing Rehabilitation Project was awarded a total of $176,300.

Todd Fortune, community development planner with the CRC, said the project would rehabilitate six homes on the project site, which includes Culbreth Street and parts of White, Carter, Hancock and Conner streets.

One house, Fortune said, will be torn down and rebuilt — a process called a “substantial reconstruct.” He said the house’s owner has had to live elsewhere as the home became uninhabitable.

According to a memorandum from Fortune on Feb. 14, the programmatic agreement with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, which is the last piece needed to complete the required environmental review for the project, has been executed.

“Consequently, the CRC has finalized the Environmental Review Record. The town plans to publish its combined notice of FONSI/RROF (Finding of No Significant Impact/Intent to Request Release of Funds) on Feb. 14,” Fortune cited in the memorandum. “Assuming no objections, the town will issue the RROF in early March.”

He cited that the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has approved a change in the CDBG allocation for this project, per revised budget figures sent to DHCD. The grant award amount is now $445,400, an increase from the previous amount of $176,300.

“Consequently the amount for project administration in the project budget was increased from $17,000 to $42,000,” Fortune cited in the memorandum. “The town plans to use the CRC for project administration.”