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The Center for Rural Development now accepting grant applications from local units of government

Local governments in Southern and Eastern Kentucky are eligible to apply for the latest cycle of Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) federally funded mini-grants awarded by The Center for Rural Development to advance strategic planning.

As part of its Developing and Implementing Community Strategies Program, The Center will accept grant applications from city and county governments and organizations through May 27. Grants are expected to be awarded in July.

This is the first of two grant solicitations to be launched by The Center in 2011 for funding to assist with either the successful creation of a strategic plan or the implementation of priority community development projects identified in existing strategic plans.

In 2011-12, The Center will award a total of $145,000 in ARC strategic planning grants. Individual project awards range from $5,000 to a maximum of $10,000. All projects must be completed within a six-month period.

The Center, a nonprofit economic development organization based in Somerset, Ky., also is encouraging the use of technology solutions in the implementation and execution of these plans and projects.

“Stimulating innovative and sustainable economic development solutions in the region we serve is at the core of The Center’s mission, and these grants target communities that have the ideas—but lack the resources—to move forward,” Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, said. “Grants awarded during the last ARC funding cycle made a significant impact on each of the counties, cities, or organizations that received them, and we fully expect this new funding will build on that success and impact our region to a much greater extent.”

Eligible grant activities include training for citizen leaders and local officials; projects that enhance leadership, planning and management capacity; use of professional services, such as a consultant; and community technology projects, such as broadband or development of a comprehensive community website.

In 2010, The Center awarded $144,300 in ARC mini-grants to 17 communities or organizations in Southern and Eastern Kentucky to help advance local economic and community development plans.

For more information about the program or to seek grant applications, contact Patti Simpson at The Center at 606-677-6000 or via email at psimpson@centertech.com.

The application deadline for the second ARC funding cycle has not been scheduled, but will likely be in December 2011 with award recipients announced in February 2012.

Counties eligible to apply for ARC funding support through The Center include: Adair, Bath, Bell, Breathitt, Casey, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Estill, Floyd, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Menifee, Monroe, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Rockcastle, Russell, Wayne, Whitley, and Wolfe. Cities within those counties may also apply.


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