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The Center is accepting grant applications through July 19 for community strategic planning

By: Sharon Dodson - The Center for Rural Development
By: Sharon Dodson - The Center for Rural Development

The Center for Rural Development in Somerset is accepting grant applications from local governments in cities and counties across Southern and Eastern Kentucky through July 19 in the latest cycle of federal funding support from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for community strategic planning.

The grant applications are for the second cycle of ARC mini-grants awarded to The Center in 2010 through its Developing and Implementing Community Strategies Program to communities to encourage and support improved community strategic planning throughout the region.

During this funding cycle, The Center has the potential to award $90,200 of the overall $145,000 in ARC funding support targeted for this year to help advance economic and community development plans in Southern and Eastern Kentucky.

In February, U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) and Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, presented $54,800 in ARC mini-grants to six communities or organizations to grow economic development through strategic planning efforts.

“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 them forward,” Lawson said.

“This funding will assist these communities in developing or furthering plans and strategies that will help fuel positive and tangible economic and community development activity in our region for years to come,” he added.

Funds can be used for either the successful creation of a strategic plan or the implementation of priority community development projects identified in existing strategic plans. The Center also is encouraging the use of technology solutions in the implementation and execution of these plans and projects.

Individual project awards will range from $5,000 up to a maximum of $10,000. All projects must be completed within a six-month period.

Recipients of the latest round of ARC grant funding awarded earlier this year included Tri-Cities Heritage Development in Harlan County; Letcher County Convention and Tourism Commission; City of Prestonsburg; Wayne County Fiscal Court; City of Stanford; and Harlan County Fiscal Court.

For more information about the program or to seek grant applications, contact Patti Simpson at The Center, 606-677-6000, or Amy Stroud, community liaison and sales associate for The Center, at 606-875-4565, or via e-mails at psimpson@centertech.com or astroud@centertech.com.

Counties eligible to apply for ARC funding support through The Center include: 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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