Albemarle receives $270,000 in grant funds

Published 10:31 am Monday, June 19, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Gov. Roy Cooper announced Thursday that 29 local governments in rural areas across the state, including Stanly County, were awarded grants from the Rural Transformation Grant Fund, a source of support for rural economic development projects in North Carolina.

A total of $8 million will be issued in this third round of grantmaking from the fund, which helps local governments overcome challenges that limit their economic competitiveness.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce and its Rural Economic Development Division administers the fund.

The City of Albemarle will receive $270,000 to support downtown revitalization improvements including new sidewalks, installation of tree wells and decorative lighting.

The anticipated outcome will make the area safer for pedestrians and promote traffic calming and improved pedestrian amenities for the Pfeiffer University health campus and surrounding businesses.

“These transformative grants can make a real difference in rural communities by reviving downtowns and strengthening neighborhoods,” said Cooper. “These funds, with the support of our rural development team at the Department of Commerce, will bring more economic opportunity to people across the state.”

The Rural Transformation Grant Fund, the centerpiece of a broader Rural Engagement and Investment Program from Commerce, addresses needs such as revitalizing downtown districts, building the capacity of local government staffs, revitalizing neighborhoods, fostering small business recovery and generally supporting economic growth initiatives.

The Rural Transformation Grant Fund, established in March of last year, has now awarded its total available funds of $48 million.

In that time, even greater community needs were identified, as local jurisdictions submitted for consideration projects totaling $165 million.

In this third round of grantmaking, Commerce received project applications totaling $44 million, and could not meet the entire demand, given the available funding.

“The need in our rural communities is great, but I’m pleased we’ve been able to meet some of these needs with this transformative grant program,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “I’m proud of the program’s strong track record of success, managed by Commerce’s experienced rural development team and grounded in tried-and-true best practices that we know work well.”